• Melanie Henderson

Decadence is back – The Midnight Devils show how it’s done


The world hasn’t felt like a glamorous place in a long time – for some of us, not since about 1987. So, more than ever, it’s high time for an excuse to sharpen the kohl pencil, dig out the dazzle dust and swap the loungewear for full-body leopard print.


Are you with me? Because you won’t find a better excuse than The Midnight Devils.


The trio, hailing from Omaha (Sam Spade on bass and vocals, Jimmy Mess on drums and Sniper on lead guitar), describe themselves as a ‘glam slam boogie woogie rock n’ roll band’ and they’re definitely not wrong.


Something Bigger will take you back to those technicolour days before GHDs were invented, where big barnets and sticky lip gloss were de rigueur, where a chorus wasn’t a chorus unless it came with a proper quota of woah-ohs or woah-yeahs. Seriously – these are sounds you might not have heard since you sent the last of your Motley Crue and Ratt albums to the charity shop sometime in the Nineties (and then swiftly wished you hadn’t). It’s as if plaid shirts and goatee beards never even happened.


Thankfully, though, it’s not just about the pose. This is a collection of raw-as-you-like sleaze-meets-punk that’s so instantly likeable it brings a tear to the eye. And although it’s everything you knew and loved about those tight-trousered times, it’s more than a cookie-cutter tribute.

Tongue-in-cheek curtain-raiser Pink Halo (‘about a girl I know – or maybe a few girls I know’ sneers Spade) exposes an attitude that’s far more Faster Pussycat than Poison and by the time you get to the super-seedy Bleed Betty Bleed we’re more in punk territory with nods to The Ramones and Hanoi Rocks.


Sniper’s mischievous guitar never fails to get a piece of the action: on By My Side he adopts the garrulous style favoured by Steve Vai way back when on Dave Lee Roth’s Eat Em’ and Smile album, whereas on No More and Absence Of Light the crunchy riffs seem to have something of Winger’s Reb Beach.


But it’s on rabble-rousing anthem Generation Durt that the fun and games really hit the spot, while Memphis Mile is like the cheerier second cousin of Faster Pussycat classic Bathroom Wall.


And as if we weren’t already reminiscing about good times, there’s the ultra-exuberant Baptised by the Radio, which sees Spade enthusing about the days of yore when owning multiple Kiss T-shirts was where it was at.


Basically, it’s rock n’ roll all night and party every day ad infinitum.


Yup, decadence is officially back. And The Midnight Devils know exactly how it’s done.


More about The Midnight Devils here


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