Go Team No Hope
(Bitter and Twisted)
It’s albums like Midway Still’s latest (Go Team No Hope, their sixth LP, due out March 18th) that keep me going and the very reason why I love music so damn much. This band inspired me back in the early 90s with their brand of punk rock, which was more in favor back in the post-Nirvana haze, and now, almost 25 years later, they’re about to unleash their best album yet!
In fact, when I listen to the frenetic opener, “Wicked World,” I feel like I could be that hopeful younger kid rocking out to “Wish” or “I Won’t Try” back when turning thirty seemed a world away (not to mention forty). It’s refreshing! Yet, at the same time, many of their songs are written for the older, the downtrodden, and the hopeless. There’s no reason why we can’t pump our fists, play air guitar, and try to bounce around to instantly memorable kick ass songs like “Where’s Your Sunshine?,” “Hey Summer,” and the momentum gathering “Can’t Take It,” where drummer Declan Kelly goes about beating his drum set into submission (How does he do it? My arms get tired just thinking about it). The odd “Insect Limbs” reminds of SST era Dinosaur Jr, as bandleader Paul Thomson adds a layer of strummed acoustic guitar to the mix to lighten the sound a tiny bit inside the din of buzzing electricity. Plus, like on their last album (2012’s Always Ends), there are two absolute stunners: the ultra-catchy “Only time Will Tell,” an earworm that I never want to lose, and the sharp and stuttering “Don’t Walk Away.” “Only Time Will Tell,” along with the sort of ballad, “Next Life,” and the closing ode to the lost people of the world: “Go Team No Hope,” would all make excellent feature songs in an updated John Hughes flick, where the protagonists are still trying to find their way well into middle age. Actually, scratch that, this album is better than that – the whole freaking thing should be played on repeat any time one needs to turn the volume up to 11 and let loose.
I say this about a lot of criminally overlooked musicians, but it amazes me that Midway Still aren’t more well known then they are. Music this good – this addictive – should be heard and enjoyed by the masses. Dive in now before they decide to disappear on us again.