Midnight Union Band is a five piece band from Kilkenny, Ireland describing their music as a blend of Americana folk, Rhythm and Roots and Blues nestled with an alt-country twist and a sprinkling of old school rock n’ roll [That’s quite the mouthful but all relevant!]. They released their Debut album ‘Of Life and Lesser Evils’ in September this year and from what I gather it was quite a triumph for the group with their lead single ‘I’m Your Leader’ grabbing most of the attention. It’s a soulful, joyous meld of brass and rich vocals with a firm anti-war and corruption message. The style harks back to early Van Morrison albums and has a very honest sound which should be easy to like for most of us.
Delving deeper into the album the folk element remains anchored by an ever-present mandolin and acoustic guitar duo. The vocalist of the group, Shane Joyce is featured front and centre throughout the album and the songs are lyric-laden with a consistent storyteller formula. This is quite an emotional album with plenty of reflective social commentary and a melancholic vibe at times. The mood is always picked up by the brass section and songs like ‘Stormy Thoughts’ where you sense an extra dimension to the group. I did however feel the consistency in quality wavered a little further into the album in terms of production, or for whatever reasons it is that the average listener tunes out from an album half the way through. I can’t fault the album per se but I did feel a sense of repetition in texture and arrangement nearing the latter side of the album and my taste would generally be looking for new territory 25 minutes in. Maybe this band’s style just isn’t for me or there wasn’t enough ear candy but if you listen to Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan I think you’ll be quite pleased with what Midnight Union Band have produced – A soulful, ambitious twelve track album with enough depth to sit comfortably beside it’s modern counterparts.
Finally, I suppose a question is in order – Is the group working as hard at marketing their debut album as they were when producing it and will they venture toward the difficult follow-up and better it? I really hope so but if they are for god’s sakes update that website :)
Single [Video] – I’m Your Leader
iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/ie/artist/the-midnight-union-band/id719483432
Website - http://themidnightunionband.com/ Twitter - https://twitter.com/MidnightUnion Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/themidnightunionband Breaking Tunes - http://www.breakingtunes.com/themidnightunionband