Hollywood through and through
Having only an hour to reign, no matter how small your dominion, must be an annoying thing. It's no wonder, then, that the band Midnight Reign sound so pissed off. But not so pissed off that they can't party. From the mean streets of Hollywood, California, Midnight Reign is a strange concoction made by some mad scientist or at least a mad pseudo-scientist.
The vocals are run through a washy distortion patch for much of the time, though there is an interesting old school power ballad called Breathe On Me... which features cello and violin. Apparently the cellist and violinist are permanent members of this band, though their influence isn't as apparent on all the tracks. They do show up in the Mourning After, a ballad that's a cross between Poison and, oh I don't know, some other 80s band. Opener 666 (Is my area code) is fucking brilliant. I'm sure the band won't appreciate this reference, but does anybody remember Marilyn Manson's first album? It was dark, comic, heavy and catchy? Well, Midnight Reign is kind of like that. Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think Midnight Reign would mind at all.
This is very much a Hollywood band. This is like a reimagining of the 80s glam scene but blended with the 90s DIY ethic and the 21st century appreciation for kitsch, outright rock and roll. I love, love, love that the press release notes that track 6 (XXX Playground) and track 7 (Kiss the Flames) contain explicit lyrics, presumably so that radio stations will know which they aren't allowed to play, but that the lyrics on all the songs are about such seedy things that you wouldn't be playing this on the radio anyway! The Hollywood Rx might not be f'ing and jeff'ing everywhere, but it's a drug song as unsubtle as you can get. Then again, that Buckcherry band had that Lit Up song, so maybe there's hope.
In any case, this is the stuff that should be on the radio. Like the Brides of Destruction, Midnight Reign have a knack for making rock music that is melodic but edgy at the same time. Seeing Midnight Reign live would be something. I wouldn't know what to expect. Is the aesthetic gothic? Is it cock rock? Is it party-time? Is it suicidal? This band has a lot of conflicting elements that work together. See if you think so too.
(The Hollywood Rx Records)