PART INDIE, PART ROCK, PART FAMILIAR
Temecula, CA – Though I picked up the Midnight Satellites new CD release, Past. Present. Future the night before thousands got Shamrocked in this magical valley of horses, wine, and song, my music review just wouldn't materialize into being. I played the CD, but it became background to Hillary and other Trumpeting news. Also I had run out of flower.
One of the first doorways to open for people who imbibe cannabis is a fuller appreciation to music that you might not have unless you are musically inclined*.
Midnight Satellites are the same members as talented and popular cover band Master Splinter and the Shredders, which is why the main title reads as it does. Three of the groups' members, in turn, come from local bands that once commanded followings through their musical ability, performance, and originally. The crowd on that Thursday night for the pre-Get Shamrocked throw-down testified to that history.
PPF reflects the group's versatile artistry gained from years of adding performance to natural musical chops through the enfolding 13 song track list.
The part indie comes from indie music being lyrically smart and tunefully artful, sometimes to the detriment of a sustained melody or rhythm. Not so here. Tracks like the opener Almost Famous, Long Lost, Get Low, and Status Quo can slip into quiet almost acoustic songs effortlessly through excellent audio production and musicianship flow, illustrated by the power solo and collective finish in Status Quo, track 12.
The last track, Awaiting, shows the same romantic theme expressed in Memories, a breakout ballad single reminiscent to the early days when Dark Haven steam-boxed a packed Madlins coffee shop venue. The lyrical emotion expressed in Memories captures that innocence.
On the rock end you find tracks like Wake Up, an old school power ballad that could be a tune off a Glee soundtrack but with balls. On the more dance-able side are songs like Heart Feeling Dead with #6, Standing, and #7 Travel On, being the respective stand-alone singles that are very rock radio friendly [ITRO].
The engineering and production quality are spot on for all the nuances a band this creative brings to a song, resulting in a listening that is crisp in aural detail. This is especially pleasing for the guitar friendly band to show 'the new guy' on drums does more than holds his own.
Though you may be familiar with the stage performance and music expertise that comes with a MSATS show, the original songs on PPF offers a current listen to the heritage of this valley's storied hip underground band heyday. Those who were there know what I mean.
So twist up a tree, set aside an hour, and give a listen to appreciate guys who do music for the young and frisky as their day job. Catch the Midnight Satellites in Hollywood at the Viper Room on Nov. 7th.
(*- pg. 16, Memoirs of Mr. Pete & Mary Jane Green, Amazon, CDBaby; lead photo credit, Cory Tichenor)