Gena Olivier expertly navigates L.A. trio Midnight Movies through ominous depths from behind her drum kit. Her powerful, ethereal voice (think Stereolab meets Rainer Maria), plus way more percussive girlie action than Meg White can shake a drumstick at, makes for some serious art-rock soundscapes. On stage, she’s a powerful, fearless leader, eschewing drummer gender bias while inadvertently cashing in on her sexuality. Who doesn’t want a female drummer—especially a hot one? Unfortunately, the lo-fi sleepcore unit gets lost in translation on the journey from the stage to your iPod. Play Midnight Movies’ self-titled full-length debut in your bedroom or in the personal, portable digital music player of your choice, and just try not to nod off. While it’s a welcome relief to hear a sadcore album that isn’t a depressing collection of unsent let’s-get-back-together-again-remember-how-good-we-were mental Post-Its, not enough of tracks like “Time And Space” and an abundance of tracks like “Love Or A Lesson,” “Just To Play,” and “Tide And Sun” drag the album down with their atonal, lackluster qualities and turn this debut into a snoozefest. It’s a noble attempt by a talented band, but perhaps the name itself is damning. Indeed, when was the last time you stayed awake during a midnight show?
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