By Ryan Falla
Active since 2003 and based out of Cleveland, Ohio, Midnight has blazed through the punk scene with multitudes of EPs following the release of their debut album ‘Satanic Royalty’. Midnight puts together a compilation of said EPs and debut record with the package ‘Shox of Violence’, collecting 25 tracks worth of material. Midnight makes no attempt to be anything other than a hardcore punk band, every song amounting to 3 minute tracks comprised of fast three-chord riffage and a really pissed off vocalist. Raw, unfiltered quality punk isn’t something that is as easy to come across nowadays as it was in years past.
If you’ve been hungry for a taste of punk that hasn’t been seen in modern music for a while, you’re going to want to feast on Midnight’s massive compilation release ‘Shox of Violence’. Filled with an extremely varied track listing, from exceptional Venom covers to wild live tracks, there is much more meat to this punk compilation than the typical twenty-minute rush one would expect from a punk album.
Midnight brings a tasty dash of metal to an already heavy punk formula, ripping and tearing through tracks like starved beasts in a hog-pen. This is crucial to a successful punk formula, because when your genre lives off extreme repetition, it is important to make sure the attention span of your audience is constantly being played with.
The tone of this record resounds heavily with GWAR’s 1994 release ‘This Toilet Earth’, morphing the raw aggression of punk with grinding thrash. The opening tracks of the record push and pull at your inner pit kid, reviving your deepest need for aggressive rebellion to surface levels. ‘Shox of Violence’ opens with five original Midnight tracks before heading into unbelievable covers of Venom classics ‘In League with Satan’ and ‘Too Loud For the Crowd’, forming pitch perfect punk representations of Venom. About half of this record is fantastic covers of songs from acts such as Quiet Riot, The Spits, Crucifixtion, and the aforementioned Venom.
One of my favorite tracks is the live recording of ‘Unholy and Rotten’, an extremely lo-fi live recording that is pretty standard until it randomly cuts out halfway through the track. One of the members of the band lights a fire that pisses off the stage manager that pathetically whines at the band and cries for security while the crowd encourages Midnight with wild enthusiasm as they encourage their degeneracy. Also, I’m pretty sure the stage manager is Canadian due to the way he pronounces “out” and his general ineffectiveness to intimidate the band off the stage.
‘Unholy and Rotten’ is a great representation of what is packaged within the compilation of ‘Shox of Violence’; a genuinely fun showing with tons of great covers and originals that is an absolute pleasure to listen to from the first track all the way to the twenty-fifth.
‘Shox of Violence’ is a party package that hits with heavy nostalgia, though it is clear Midnight is not a band that tries to inject artificial nostalgia in their music. This is a record every fan of the old-school punk needs to listen to, reviving all your love for punk you thought you left back in your teen years.
Putting on a relentless showing of their talent throughout the years, this compilation of covers, original tracks, and live recordings shows off what a top-tier punk act ‘Midnight’ really is.
Record Label: Hells Headbangers
Release Date: February 20th 2017
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01. Death Scream
02. Who Gives A Fuck
03. Ready For Destruction
04. Groin Gripper
05. Sadist Sodomystic Seducer
06. In League With Satan (Venom)
07. Too Loud For the Crowd (Venom)
08. The Witch
09. Breakout (Taipan)
10. Hells Fire (Mistreater)
12. When I Die (Pagans)
13. Unholy and Rotten (Live)
14. …On the Wings of Satan (live)
15. Slick Black Cadillac (Quiet Riot)
16. Nuclear Bomb (The Spits)
17. Black Kar (The Spits)
18. Rat Face (The Spits)
19. Shitty World (The Spits)
20. Death Sentence (Crucifixion)
21. Wicked Women (Scarab)
22. Eyes of Satan (Pagans)
23. Watch Your Step (Girlschool)
24. Vomit Queens
25. Cross Held High