Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Nov 11th, 2016

Hank Midnight: Motel

motelHank Midnight

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A flanky, electric, strummed, laconic “The Mirror” begins Hank Midnight’s moody Motel. I like the echoey rim shot sound and Midnight’s sexy vocals on “Flood,” a hard-breaking, beautiful song that comes in and out quickly. The next tune, “How We Want It” roils along with a synth line, drum machine snap, and rich “ah” vocals; it’s a nice counter to what went before. Midnight surely rolls around lots of sounds here, but his voice (his actual voice and his style) keeps things to a singular vision. I like the weird, gated guitar on “Cynthia,” the jangle (of guitar and Midnight’s high, soft vocals) on another pretty tune “Hold,” though the thick guitar chords of “TV Box/static” with its distorted sounds behind it is not really a song. (Midnight will get into more of this kind of thing later.) We are back to some nice guitar picking kind of a reprise of sorts for the music gone before on “Dream Pt. 1: Haunted Record Player,” while the second part “Dream Pt. 2: The Man Who Misses the Desert” is all spacey, single-note guitar echo blow back. Soundscapes again, but not songs, really. A roiling organ flows under Midnight’s high warble on “Cigarette Smoke,” on which he again employs perfect harmonies. “Exist, Connect” closes the door on this particular residence, sounding like Daniel Lanois or Angelo Badalamenti. Overall, we have a good thick concept album here from a sold composer. It’s maybe a little long in the soundscapes, but certainly Midnight can write, sing, and play and has something to say.

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Hank Midnight: Motel