Midnight Chaser – Rough and Tough

I’m back from the long weekend and ready to gear up for what promises to be another busy week. It’s only been four days but it seems like forever since the last post. I hope everyone that celebrates Thanksgiving had a great holiday, I know I did. So what’s on the calendar for today? Ah, yes, Midnight Chaser.

Conceived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and brought to fruition in San Francisco, California, Midnight Chaser rather surprised me by playing some really old school pre-thrash era metal; late 70s early 80s kind of stuff. Their bio mentions Judas Priest, Deep Purple, Saxon and Diamond Head if that gives you an idea of what they might sound like.

Keeping that time period and the bands above in mind, I think Midnight Chaser really hit the mark that they are aiming for on this album. The music on this album transports me back to my middle school metal origins, and other than having more low end than anything in the 80s, the style is pretty dead-on accurate for the time. Some people may knock this album and call it unoriginal and stale, but not me. I feel like I never got enough of this style the first time around so anyone willing to pick up the torch and run with it is cool in my eyes.

The music is pretty basic riffs and power chords. This is the type of playing that made me want to pick up the guitar in the first place all those years ago. It’s not complex, it’s not original, but it’s still cool and it does the job. The leads hearken to a time before players all jockeyed to be the most technical shredder in the land; more soul, less theory. This music is supposed to be fun.

This leads me to the lyrics. Touching on the mainstays of early metal (partying, chicks and manly things like war and fighting) the retro image is complete. The vocals of Scott Attwood tie everything together and make it all work. I think he’s got a great voice and that is a big part of what keeps me interested in this album. He doesn’t hit the really high notes that can be really annoying in excess, and he doesn’t go real low. He hangs out in the middle singing clean, melodic and clearly which makes deciphering the lyrics a cakewalk.

I have to give kudos to Heavy Artillery for putting out an album like this one. Maybe I’m an old fart who is biased towards this style of music, but maybe this is just a good fun album. It’s a real palette cleanser for me to take a break from all the extreme metal and remember how cool the music was back in the day. Now when I go listen to some melodic death metal it will have that much more punch by comparison. Take a quick history lesson and check these guys out.