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Sex First

Bakerteam (2014)
Rating: 7/10

Slightly confused as to why a vocalist would name himself after a child killer, but maybe Albert Fish is his real – unfortunate – name? And so, this is the guy who fronts Italian sleaze rock merchants Midnight Sin; another band keen to revive the 80s sound in their quest for dominance.

Now, there’s no way these guys are gonna be the next big thing, but I’m actually quite charmed by this fiery little record which thankfully hasn’t succumbed to the usual plastic aesthetics which seem to be hopping onto the bandwagon at a rate of knots.

It seems that amidst the crowds of derivation there is the occasional band with enough punch and guts to pay homage to the sounds of yore and yet get their message across. This is by no means a corny or predictable record and while there are no real standout tracks the opus is consistent, offering up stony rhythms and good songs which hit the spot from the off.

Following the intro (‘Snake Eyes’) we have ‘Midnight Revolution’, a hard rockin’ fist to the mid-section boosted by a vocalist who clearly isn’t just reliant on image and makes his voice heard. Behind him there’s a bunch of equally passionate souls eager to belt out a mature metal vibe, whether it’s in the swaggering yet sneering ‘Feed Me With Lies’ with its sleazy swagger or slow burning menace of ‘No Matter’.

There’s clearly a good set of ideas here with a posse of cool musicians – especially in the talents of lead guitarist LeStar – and all they really lack is that song craft to spew out something just a bit bigger and better than the norm’. When the band does come close it’s in the form of ‘Till It’s All Gone Away’ with its rumbling Acey Guns bass; the sort of track that shows so much potential as a hard rock anthem. But what I really like about these guys is that they keep things simple and don’t try to be something they are not. All I will say though, is that while I like the boozy ‘You Piss Me Off’ they don’t need to resort to clichéd Americanisms and should concentrate on the job at hand; being a solid Italian hard rock unit that can churn out some cool, rattle ’n’ roll such as ‘Rise & Yell’ and not sound false.

There’s a need for improvement, as should be the case, but with Sex First – although a touch naïve in places and lacking that real pivotal moment – Midnight Sin have constructed a very good debut album.

Neil Arnold

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