An anthropomorphic being rides an equally rodent-like creature into battle. Its red cape billows out dramatically behind him as its steed rears up. Its banner waves in the wind and proclaims: The Brave Don’t Run. And indeed they don’t. The small New Zealand band is quickly gaining on the international scene.
Midnight Youth began as a three man high school band trying to get through the national interschools’ competition Rockquest. They gained a vocalist and a keyboardist, and became legit in 2006. In 2009, they released their first studio album, The Brave Don’t Run. And those ten tracks definitely show how far these guys have come.
Like a smaller, Kiwi version of U2, Midnight Youth return to real rock music. With the five key instruments of rock, in conjunction with Jeremy Redmore’s deep vocals and the anthem-like lyrics, the album reminds one somewhat of Cold play’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.
Cavalry leads the charge with an anthem hailing back to old school rock. The radios constantly played All On Our Own (a story of leaving home for independence), with good reason. It has the kind of spirit that gets the chorus stuck in your head for days. However, the best track by far has to be Benjamin, with its hard core attitude and raucous chorus. It’s the kind of song you would be caught singing in a bar after a few drinks.
My least favourite track is Golden Love. Its lethargic, drawn out vocals and dull acoustics are far out of place on the album. This is the kind of song a guy would learn to play for his girlfriend while they sat together on the beach watching the sunset. It is a cute song, but is not in keeping with the fast paced power of the other tracks. Flash is also weak in that respect. Every now and again there are some questionable lyrics hidden within the other tracks, but the general atmosphere more than makes up for it.
The album as a whole is the perfect album to play while having a braai with your friends or getting psyched for a wild night out. It’s a refreshing return to intense, powerful rock. It seems that they could play anything, to make it happen.