Local Wire

Midnight Movies

On its full-length debut, this Los Angeles trio does a commendable job of mixing atmosphere and muscle. Though the band's calling card is singer Gena Olivier's Nico-like hypnotic control, Midnight Movies repeatedly back up her musings with a sharp guitar-and-keyboard assault, especially with the monstrously devotional "Love or a Lesson." As a lyricist, Olivier is more poet than rhyme-spitter. On lovely tracks like "Tide and Sun," she limns romantic scenarios with a cool, slightly opaque detachment -- all teasing suggestiveness without succumbing to conventional lyrical structure. And, in turn, her band's music evokes and tantalizes as provocatively as her mysterious words do. Even if you ignored the lyric sheet, you'd be startled by this group's melodic, rhythmic insistence. But here's betting their spellbinding soundscapes will inspire you to dig deeper.
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Tim Grierson
Contact: Tim Grierson