'Lose My Face'
Release Date: 16th January 2015
Roger Berzerk Fauske
Midnight Bullet from Finland are all set to release their second album on January 16th 2015 via Inverse Records.
The band says that 'Lose My Face' has a theme which is a fear of making yourself a total fool. Some people find it necessary to keep the walls around you so that the other people won't see who you really are, and you're trying to hide your mistakes. The mask on the cover is a symbol of that fake life you're living in. That is something I think all of us have come to realize at some point or the other.
So to the musical aspects. The band has always had that rock sound, more than tinged with fast punk patterns and the attitude that goes with it. Time to see how that all comes together on this one.
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'Memories Are Gone' starts off with that brash sound and attitude overload, but with a lot of melody working its way in to the music, a clever mix of the two, with the second half and tasty rock based guitar maybe a taster of what we could have had here if punk (and by punk I mean the original pre NWOBHM version) had combined more with the traditional rock side at the time.
'Outcast And Alone' is more direct, but again with more than an overdose of catchy melodic infusion, broken up with plundering and rampaging guitar. An interesting writing style – very much in the rock vein as far as the phrasing and arrangement of the songs go, but fast, raw punk based vocals and guitar instigate a musical takeover bid throughout and the two adversaries join forces with great effect.
'Walking Down The Line' as if to put a spanner in the works, heads off in a totally different direction, into a tunnel with very little light at the end of it, filled with gloom and despair. But again, it doesn't disappoint musically, the verse especially getting you to instinctively reverberate its message in your mind. Guitar solo just where you think it would be, giving the rock faction a lead in this one and even though there is that predictability as far as the pattern goes, it is done very very well and proves the band are no one trick pony (even if that trick wasn't the easiest to pull off in the first place).
'Six Feet Under' gets at you right from the off, punk laden riffs again leading the charge but with that other side to it – is melodic punk a thing? If it wasn't it is now. There are traces of that Motorhead sound, not surprising when you think where they came from and what they took into their sound from the punk movement here. Vocals, bass and drums powering it all along before another screaming guitar solo leads us towards some "woah's" at the end of the song... now who would have thought that would work?
'Burn' features more of the same mix of ingredients served up with a garnish of body shaking groove making rhythm, and there is even room for the odd growl to find its way into the melting pot. A glorious balls to the wall rocker that will plain leave you gasping.
'Last Man Standing' goes straight into more limb trembling delivery, rhythm section coming to the fore with their pulsating injections only matched by the throaty vocals and military guitar that pulls everything together before... now at this point you would be expecting the guitar wizardry to flow but they have thrown in a break and a bridge before that just, well, because they can and it works on more than one level. But it does come and fires towards the end of the track, this time the guitar echoes being the last sounds.
'Save Me' again shifts, some Schenker ish softer guitar leading the way before rising and rhythmic six stringer takes over, vocals following packed full of emotion, more melodic interchanges and more guitar work to do it all justice, vocals straining every sinew, delivering every inch of passion.
The title track is next up and treats us to some more body gyrating moments, particularly catchy verse over the top of the rhythmic guitar leading to rising and falling solo. The attitude is still there, that punk feel, but this is more than anything your classic rocker.
'Sculpture Of Broken Eternity' has its foot down hard on the groove pedal, driving guitar, belting vocals, more attitude than me when the police pull me over (and trust me, that's a lot). Again the drums have the pulling power of a fifty ton truck in a Ferrari body (no I don't have the plans for that vehicle yet) and as it torrents along the song just gets better, if that was possible. A stormer amongst stormers.
So to the final one, 'Hope' and a gentler start, guitar and soulful vocals telling us how he tries to survive. A very different feel but just another arrow in their quiver of song-writing and musical talent. When the heavy brigade kicks in, that soulful feel never leaves, shades of scarf waving anthem come through the mist but it never disappears in the direction of pappy. Hope is indeed a suitable title as it has that emotion written all over it and not just lyrically – a stirring finale.
The band say that "every song has some thought and the lyrics has a story to tell. We try to connect people and it's great if you can recognize yourself in the song. We try to say that we're not alone in this world, don't get stuck inside your head. Sometimes the truth will hurt!" and in the case of 'Hope' in particular that rings very true.
So there you have it and an impressive piece of work it is. A thinking man's album with so much going for it, top end song-writing and musical performances to boot. To my ears, the punk like attitude is the perfect final ingredient that raises this a long way above the average. It is good, very good.
Tuomas Lahti - vocals, guitar
Mikko Nokelainen - drums
Lauri Ikonen - lead guitar
Timo Nokelainen - bass, vocals