29 Nov 2020
UsernamePassword

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Motel Midnight - Single Review: Closer

11 Nov 2020 // A review by Kev Rowland

Motel Midnight are Reuben Keeling (vocals, bass guitar), Bruce Ferguson (vocals, guitar), Ben Stanley (synths, beats, production) and they have just produced their debut single, Closer. When asked to describe their music they say they draw their influences from house, hip hop and indie rock, while combining shimmering synths with screaming guitars, fuzzed-out bass and stomping beats. That may well be the case with some of their other songs, which I have not heard, but this one clearly takes me back to the Eighties, and a different genre altogether.

Closer feels like a song which is more linked to Bronski Beat and Yazoo, with additional influences from Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk and even possibly Gary Numan, than what one would associate with hip-hop or indie rock. It has the strong fresh bright synth line which one expects from these bands, especially Bronski Beat and Yazoo, placed against the vocals. The guitar is rarely heard, apart from just before and after the bridge and is often in the background, along with the bass, with the main instruments being very much the synths and the beats. The main vocal line is interesting, with a style which sounds as if it is going to go slightly off key yet never does, while the backing vocals are in a strange falsetto, and the combination really works although I am still not quite sure why. The thing is, while it may seem that I am being negative about this single I confess nothing could be further from the truth, as while I honestly was not a fan of this the first time I played it, this has grown on me immensely. There is a hook within which really grabs the listener, and the vocals seems so very right indeed when placed against the main repetitive synth line.

I do not generally listen to this style of synth-based pop, but there is something compelling about this. It is the sort of song which could be a hit both on the radio and in the clubs, with a fresh naivety which makes it stand out from the pack. It belongs in a different time, from almost 40 years  ago, yet somehow it also feels just right for today. This is well worth investigating and it will be interesting to hear more from this trio.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About Motel Midnight

Emerging from the smoky neon haze, Motel Midnight have arrived with their own distinctive sound.

Drawing on influences from house, hip hop and indie rock, the New Zealand trio combines shimmering synths with screaming guitars, fuzzed-out bass and stomping beats.  

Who’s that stranger you run to late at night? Why do your eyes always wander? What are your darkest desires? Give in to temptation - check in to Motel Midnight.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Motel Midnight

Releases

There are no releases to display for Motel Midnight.

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

Stealphish - Single Review: Procidens
28 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
I was chatting with the guys from Cafe Fistfight before their recent gig at Ding Dong, when guitarist Josh Barker asked if I would be interested in his brand-new solo release, and I was definitely intrigued. Apart from classical pianist Caitlyn Abbot, and some assistance from Dan Barker who assisted in programming the hi hat rolls at the start and some of the fills, everything on this instrumental release is by Josh.
Read More...
Gig Review: Cafe Fistfight @ The Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 27/11/2020
28 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
Today was set to be the launch party for the second album by Channeled, I Heard Penelope Sing, but unfortunately singer and songwriter Ben Ruegg was rushed into hospital on Tuesday, only being allowed home on the Friday itself. The thoughts of everyone at Muzic.
Read More...
The Solomon Cole Band - Single Review: Lucifer's Rising
26 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
The Solomon Cole Band comprise Solomon (vocals, guitar), Fonnie Jo Davies (vocals), Lee Catlin (bass) and Loujean (LJ) Philander (drums), and one has to ask the question as to when did Waiheke Island become part of the Deep South and go back in time? Their latest release, Lucifer’s Rising, is taken from their second album, A Little South Of Heaven, and takes us almost 100 years into the past and geographically into the Southern states of America.
Read More...
Samuel Philip Cooper - Album Review: Breaking The Silence
26 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
Young Wellington-based pianist Samuel Philip Cooper is now releasing his debut album, which contains both of his earlier singles, Broken Heart Recovery and Hope In Your Heart. One of the problems I had with Samuel’s work is that it was too short, but hearing the 18 songs on this album (47 minutes long) it makes far more sense as here the different songs become part of one much larger work.
Read More...
Album Review: It's Already Tomorrow
25 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
This compilation is the brainchild of leading New Zealand composer, John Psathas, and past-student guitarist, electronic musician and composer, Jack Hooker. With everyone in bubbles around the world, the idea was to create a collaborative environment for New Zealand artists, where John and Jack created nuggets for others to amend and use as a base for their own musical adventures.
Read More...
Channeled - Album Review: I Heard Penelope Sing
25 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
I was at a gig the other night and bumped into Channeled's main man Ben Ruegg, and of course we soon started up a conversation. I introduced him to some other friends of mine and tried to think how long I had actually known him, and Ben promptly said, "Six weeks".
Read More...
Gig Review: City of Souls @ The Tuning Fork, Auckland - 21/11/2020
22 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
Tonight it was off to one of my favourite venues, The Tuning Fork, to see recent Aotearoa Music Award winners for Te Kaipuoro Rakapioi Toa (Best Rock Artist), City of Souls, at the launch party for their debut album, Synæsthesia. Outside the venue I bumped into Ben Reugg (Channeled) who had brought some of his music students from Waiuku College to see what a proper rock show is like while I spent the evening in the company of Jodie (Miss Peach and The Travellin Bones) and Te Matera Smith (AAA Records), also bumped into Chris Webb (White Nøise Mafia), Francis Wheeler (SIS Studios, a judge at the recent Ding Dong competition), and so many others from the local scene.
Read More...
Gig Review: On Tick @ Ding Dong Lounge, Auckland - 20/11/2020
21 Nov 2020 // by Kev Rowland
When everyone at Ding Dong greeted me by name, and soundman Dave asked why I wasn’t at the final of the bands battle the previous week, it made me realise that possibly I have been attending the venue quite a lot in recent times. But when they have bands playing who are as good as these, where else would I be on a Friday night?
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
  • POSITIONS
    Ariana Grande
  • THEREFORE I AM
    Billie Eilish
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
  • LEMONADE
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • HEAD & HEART
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
  • MONSTER
    Shawn Mendes And Justin Bieber
  • LEVITATING
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
  • SAVAGE LOVE (LAXED - SIREN BEAT)
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem