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CD REVIEW: Midnight Salvage Co - Midnight Salvage Co EP
By Chip Withrow - 07/20/2009 - 06:05 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Midnight Salvage Co
Album: Midnight Salvage Co EP
Genre: Americana rock
Sounds Like: Springsteen, Dylan, Clash, Marah
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Lost Lane, Light Out, Cyclone Fighter
CD Review: The other night, I was having a heck of a time opening the wrap for this CD, so I got out some scissors. In the process of slicing the plastic, I gouged my finger, too. This had better be good for all this trouble, I thought.

Well, Midnight Salvage Co’s EP is a whole lot better than good. It is an operatic and intense blast of rock and roll, calling to mind the punk attitude of the Clash and the Pogues as well as the purposeful, gritty anthems of early Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.

The opening salvo, “What You Hope For,” careens off the disc. Drummer James Marquart and bassist David Easley rock the bottom end in Ramones-like fashion, while Bryan Kiehl fires off anthemic guitar leads. “Lost Lane” follows, and it is a dose of bittersweet punky folk. Brason Alexander’s impassioned lead vocal is poetic like Hurricane-era Dylan, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott or, more recently, Marah’s Dave Bielanko.

Marquardt’s thrashing catapults the shout-along “Light Out” into a fist-pumping anthem. “Cyclone Fighter” is a cool change of pace, gritty guitars and spirited harmonica over bouncy doo-wop chord changes.

“Dope Man” is an urgent, string-shredding tour de force, and the closing “#7” thunders Soundgarden duking it out with Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

I wish I had a lyric sheet to go along with this release, because the snippets I can pick up in songs such as “Bloodwine Battleship” reveal cinematic images. Maybe I’ll get those words on the full-length album these guys must make.

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