Stop laughing at New Zealand’s music scene! Yes, yes, we know you watch Flight of the Conchords every Sunday on HBO. And yes they are cute and funny (and might have a movie in the works?!), but if you want to really know what’s happening musically in the Land of New Zea you have to check in with Midnight Youth.
While they’ve opened for OK Go and Incubus in the past, this is the band’s first attempt at breaking through as headliners in the States (they recently signed to Warner Bros.) Fresh off their sold out shows at LA’s Viper Room and then SXSW, Midnight Youth’s in New York tonight for an engagement at Joe’s Pub. This pop-powerhouse quintet are sure to make you stop, drop and bop along to their ridiculously infectious anthems like “The Letter” (which incidentally was number 1 on the New Zealand charts for 10 weeks straight).
The lovable part of Midnight Youth’s songs is they are pure unabashed, unapologetic pop-rock. Unlike many up and coming bands, they aren’t trying too hard to milk a current trend, rather they are actually succeeding in creating huge ’70s- and ’80s-inspired hooks that will make you hate yourself for enjoying them. (You shouldn’t, it’s tight.) Tracks like “Tijuana” harken back to Tom Jones and Neil Diamond but with a sick elecro-fied guitar bridge and a hypnotic tribal breakdown. Alternately songs like “New Day” are sure to make even the most jaded hipsters drop their guards — at least long enough to let Midnight Youth’s melodic rock hooks sink in and rattle around the old brain pan. Don’t say we didn’t warn you when you finding yourself screaming out: “Yes I like POWER POP and I’m proud!”
You can hear Midnight Youth in New York at Joe’s Pub tonight or you can catch up with them back on the Left Coast, March 27 at the The Slidebar, in Fullerton, Calif., March 30 at The Gibson in Beverly Hills, and March 30 at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood.