Saturday, August 19, 2017

RECORD REVIEW: Howling Midnight "10x15"

Howling Midnight

Dig if you will, a picture 
a snapshot of Jim Morrison,
sparring with Glenn Danzig
at a Black Sabbath after-
show party. Wonder what
that Polaroid sounds like?

In 2017, the release of a new rock record is far from a headline-stealing newsflash. So, in order to truly appreciate this gloriously authentic lo-fi slab, it's perhaps important to examine what it's missing a prefix. It's not a punk-rock record and it's not a pop-rock record. In fact, it fits none of today's ridiculous rock sub genres. But what 10x15 does possess, is a suffix — roll. Ah yes, the latest from Orlando's Howling Midnight is a bona fide ROCK-AND-ROLL statement. And I haven't discovered one of those treasures in a VERY long time.

Here's the skinny  10x15 is the record you'd hear blasting from a hi-fi unit hidden behind the bar at an LA after-hours club — a PRIVATE late-night soirée attended by greasy-haired, burly guys with names like "Tony" and "Frankie" emblazoned on the front pockets of their sweat-stained work shirts. They're packin' plenty of "party favors," and they're surrounded by chicks — tattoo-covered, 20-something hotties with long black hair and short black skirts. Dance for me, mama! DO IT NOW!

Shawn Corbett
Defining the "less is more" theory, Howling Midnight consists of just two cats  guitarist / vocalist Shawn Corbett and drummer Scott Padawer. Together, they combine ONE enormous guitar with a monstrous kick-n-snare, to create a massive, bulletproof backdrop that's bolted to their uniquely compelling stories.

Buzzing with an "Ace of Spades"-inspired riff, "In the Teeth" sets the stage early for this self-produced, 12-track collection. "Shootin' Blanks" burns with Eddie Cochran-style energy, while "Try Me Later" oozes guitar-driven power pop appeal. Other golden highlights include the faithful remake of the 1969 MC5 classic, "Kick Out the Jams," as well as the ode to family dysfunction, "No Hero"   Daddy doesn't care about your birthday! A stylistic head-on collision between The Joshua Tree and Superunknown, "A Hole in the Head" closes out the crunchy cavalcade quite nicely.

Scott Padawer
As for the title — "'10x15' is the size of the storage locker where we practice," Shawn confessed in a recent interview. "Scott came up with the idea like he does so often and we both really liked it."

Released officially on August 26th, 10x15 packs tremendous punch and bleeds irresistible street-wise swagger. It's also one of my personal favorites of 2017. 

-Christopher Long
(August 2017)

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