Midnight Salvage Co. is an emerging band in the muddied Americana music scene of the Pacific Northwest; not based in ultra-hip Seattle, but in the metal-soaked scene of Tacoma. Lead singer and songwriter, Brason Alexander’s vocals will either draw you into their music, or immediately drive your hand to the skip button, but their music is worth a second listen (and after all, vocals in music are polarizing by nature). Something about their debut record reminds me of their huge influence of Bruce Springsteen’s The River album, but I also hear an element of what I initially thought might be Lou Reed’s vocal contrast with some of the early Velvet Underground music. After listening to my VU records again, I cannot pinpoint a song and maybe it’s something else entirely, but something is swirling in some of the musical phrases that brings me to that reference. Whatever it is, is what kept me returning to this debut and deciding to listen again.
After a homemade EP, Midnight Salvage Co. knew that their first “real” record needed a studio and the guidance of a trusted producer. They chose Conrad Uno, known for his work with Young Fresh Fellows, Mudhoney, Sonic Youth, and Too Slim and the Taildraggers. Uno guided their sound into a more pointed and selective use of their instrumentation, rather than just having every sound cranked to its fullest. By pulling out different sounds to be featured and letting others be subtly moved to the background, the songs themselves were much more itneresting than the band had originally been able to do on their own. The guys in Midnight Salvage Co. trusted Uno’s expertise to improve what they had already created, without changing their sound or who they are. This partnership led to them tweaking their live shows, for more intertesting ins and outs with solos instead of a cacophony of sound.
While Mignight Salvage Co.’s record is still fresh, the band feels that they grew immensely this year, with some lineup changes and waht they learned in recording. Alexander and crew are already thinking about their next record, having written approximately half of the songs already, and thinking about how to feature instrumentation in a more strategic manner to create a fuller sound, not just din. With an increasing number of dates in the Pacific Northwest, Midnight Salvage Co. is not ready to break out of regional band status, but they are commited to becoming one of the noted bands in their part of the country.
Songs in this radio show include:
- Midnight Salvage Co. What You Hope For “Bottom Fell Out,” “Rock & Roll Baby,” “Dull Knife”
- Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers No More Beautiful World “Contraband”
- The Hold Steady Separation Sunday “Cattle and the Creeping Things”
- Simon and Garfunkel Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme “A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert Mcnmara’d Into Submission)”
- Bruce Springsteen The River “Hungry Heart”
- Too Slim and the Taildraggers Shiver “Inside of Me” (also produced by Conrad Uno)
- No Ghost “Unwelcome Feeling” (co-bill of local bands)
- Young Fresh Fellows The Men Who Loved Music “Theme Update” (also produced by Conrad Uno)