Album Review: RENEGADE By Joe Mansman & The Midnight Revival Band

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Based out of Albany, Joe Mansman & The Midnight Revival Band’s new EP, RENEGADE, boasts polished production, blood-pumping riffs, and the in-your-face attitude that makes sure you know this is Rock N’ Roll. Mansman and his collaborators wear their hearts and influences on their sleeve while ripping through bluesy hard-rock and soaring glam rock anthems.

With its ethereal synths, airy intro monologue, and sermonic chanting, RENEGADE’s opening track “Nightrokken” feels like an induction into Mansman’s personal church of rock. As the drums kick in, and the chanting builds, a warm drone slowly fills the space before ceding to Mansman’s triumphant vocals and Dillion “Dollars” Swertner’s swaggy fuzzed-out guitar.

From there, the band launches headfirst into “Sellout,” their pulsing lead single about how Rock N Roll has failed them. “Can’t find no sanctuary, can’t find no peace of mind,” Mansman sings over driving percussion and blown-out riffs. Reflecting on the challenges of our times and the people holding him back, Mansman bursts into the most memorable vocal hook on the record, “Fuck Rock and Roll, get Money, sell me out now, play me just right!”

The third track, and second single, “Wild Woman” sounds like an unearthed Motley Crüe B-side from ’83, continuously building tension before breaking from the mold and following one of Swertner’s winding solos with a jazzy keys breakdown from Chris Becker.

However, it’s not until the album closer, “Dagger”, that we see what Joe Mansman & The Midnight Revival Band are really capable of. Seamlessly shifting between, and later combining, pulsating synth lines and hell for leather riffs, the band’s ability to pick apart radio rock tropes while incorporating pop sensibilities is center stage on this final track.

Having spent my quarantine musing about the mosh pits and sweaty crowds that once were, RENEGADE’s unwavering commitment to “Rock N’ Roll” is something we’ve all desperately needed.

You can pick it up starting March 22nd at https://themidnightrevivalband.bandcamp.com

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