18 Jan 2022
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

Gig Review: Blindfolded and Led To The Woods @ Dead Witch, Auckland - 15/01/2022
16 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
I have been looking forward to tonight for ages, as Auckland went into lockdown in August with all gigs being cancelled until just before Christmas, and even then, that was with limited attendance. This means that tonight was going to be my first gig in five months, and given that I covered more than 30 in the first part of the year, that was some cold turkey.
Read More...
Fool's Lagoon - Single Review: Bizarre
13 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Bizarre is the debut single from Auckland-based quintet Fool’s Lagoon. Mark, Connor, Joe, Matt and Joshua have created a bright and summery indie pop jangler which is heavily guitar-based yet is somehow light and airy throughout.
Read More...
Powder Chutes - EP Review: Sweet Noise Pollution
11 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
There is always that little hint of concern when reading a press release for a new EP and realise it contains a quote from yours truly for the single which was taken from it. How would they take it this time around if I panned this release?
Read More...
Tall Folk - Album Review: Wiser
11 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
2021 was a wonderful musical adventure for me as I threw myself into the NZ music scene, and towards the end of the year I realised that with nearly 200 reviews of local music I really should work out my Top 10 singles, EP’s, albums and gigs (check out https://www.muzic.
Read More...
Pass The Peas - EP Review: Pop
06 Jan 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This three-track EP is the latest release from Poneke-based quintet Pass The Peas, who describe their music as Wasabi spicy Rock n' Roll, whatever that means. To my ears it means they play mid-paced alternative pop rock with a strong concentration on the gravelly and emotional vocals of Kurt with loads of space within the arrangements, which are well-produced.
Read More...
Black Sands - Single Review: Apocalypse of Eden
22 Dec 2021 // by Kev Rowland
To my mind this single is long overdue, as I have been lucky enough to catch these guys play live a few times this year and they always put on an amazing show. Comprising Cameron Owens (guitars), Ruaidri Keens (guitars), Matt Hammond (bass) and James Trimmer (drums) they are one of those very rare breeds, a hard-hitting metal act with no need for a singer.
Read More...
Kev's Top 10's - 2021
20 Dec 2021 // by Kev Rowland
2021 has been a strange year, of that there has been no doubt whatsoever, but although everyone in Auckland is champing at the bit to be let out into the real world, it is probably best to remind ourselves that until we went into lockdown in August we were the envy of the world with festivals, plenty of beer, and the country being totally open (apart from the borders). At that time, I had been to more than 30 gigs, and was on course to hit 50 for the year, never thinking for a minute that August would be the last time I saw a band play live.
Read More...
Samantha Josephine - Album Review: The Finished Touch
19 Dec 2021 // by Kev Rowland
This is a direct continuation of the work displayed by Samantha on the Fly Bird Fly EP which came out a few months ago, except this time around she has managed to secure the services of drummers Mars Slater Vitai and Olive Konai, who between them share the duties on this 16-track 39-minute-long album. They fit in well with the ethos and spirit of Samantha, not attempting to bring in any finesse of polish, but instead keeping to the very lo-fi and naïve approach demonstrated by the singer/guitarist.
Read More...
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • DOWN UNDER
    Luude feat. Colin Hay
  • COLD HEART (PNAU REMIX)
    Elton John And Dua Lipa
  • FINGERS CROSSED
    Lauren Spencer-Smith
  • ABCDEFU
    GAYLE
  • MR REGGAE
    L.A.B.
  • EASY ON ME
    Adele
  • IN THE AIR
    L.A.B.
  • HEAT WAVES
    Glass Animals
  • STAY
    The Kid LAROI And Justin Bieber
  • SHIVERS
    Ed Sheeran
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