Midnight Kids, Basement Dreams EP

Midnight Kids, Basement Dreams EP

The Washington, D.C. group Apes formed in 1999 and made some high-quality (if a bit unoriginal) psych-rock until their last album, Ghost Games, in 2008. After that album, Apes members Amanda Kleinman, Erick Jackson, and Jeff Schmid reformed as Midnight Kids, with bassist Kalani Talford and singer Lou Lou Ghelichkhani, who performed with Thievery Corporation on their album The Richest Man in Babylon. Midnight Kids’ first EP, Basement Dreams, shows them going in a very different direction from the Apes’ straightforward rock-and-roll sound.

Dark and dreamy (as the title implies), Basement Dreams is six songs of incessant reverb and distortion. This blanket of noise serves to smother everything but the drums into mid-frequency obscurity, leaving music that seems as if it’s made to be ignored.

The one track worthy of some note is “Night Walk,” which actually allows Ghelichkhani’s voice to venture out of the monotone that it’s trapped in for the rest of the EP. While she seems to have a perfectly decent voice, it’s entirely wasted on the undemanding and ordinary pieces she sings on Basement Dreams. “Cherry Crush” (an unblushingly cliché ’90s title) makes Ghelichkhani sound like a pouty rock chick complaining of a lost love. The last track, “Dreamers,” is much less shoegaze and much more disco than the title seems to imply, starting with the command, “Hey DJ, pour me a dreamer.”

Every song sounds like it’s trying to be shoegaze, but it’s just too dancey for that. The outer space-ish synth and the fast and constant drums label this EP as a club-worthy record but at the same time make the rest of the music seem even more flat by contrast. Although I would like to give this EP a rating of “mediocre,” the offensively ’80s synthesizers are just enough to push it over to the “bad” category, in my book. The Midnight Kids are talented enough musicians — the Apes albums have some really quality songs on them — but on this record they seem to be going for a sound that is overused and just plain unpleasant.

Although I’m sure the new band name is an attempt to break with the past and start in a new direction, I would urge the band not to abandon their old sound completely in favor of something that’s been done many times before by many lesser musicians. Please, guys — we’ve got enough young bands trying to make ’80s dance music. Don’t fall into that trap.

(self-released; Midnight Kids --- http://midnightkids.com/; Midnight Kids (Myspace) --- http://www.myspace.com/midnightkidsmusic)
BUY ME: BandCamp

Review by . Review posted Thursday, January 6th, 2011. Filed under Reviews.

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One Response to “Midnight Kids, Basement Dreams EP”

  1. Mike Matichich on February 7th, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Does anyone know what happened to the Midnight Kids? Their MySpace & Facebook pages seems abandoned. I saw them do a great set at the 930 club at a fundraiser almost a year ago and would like to see them again, but they seem to have disappeared……..

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