Midnight Reruns are a rock band out of Milwaukee and they’re indebted to mid-to-late 80’s college rock and just as much as they are early 2000’s college rock revival. If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if a former member of The Replacements were to ever produce a record by The Strokes, it would probably sound a lot like Force of Nurture, the sophomore effort by Midnight Reruns.
No, that’s not hyperbole. Force of Nurture was actually produced by Tommy Stinson of The Replacements (and Guns ‘n’ Roses, for those of you may have forgotten), and the treble heavy guitars combined with the slurred vocal delivery, despite being higher on the register, recall The Strokes circa Room on Fire / First Impressions of Earth. Whether or not that’s a good thing highly depends on how much you enjoy bar bands. Midnight Reruns know what kind of crowd they’re catering to, and they don’t really offer much for anyone else.
Let’s get things straight: Force of Nurture is a fun album. There are plenty of fun riffs and hooks (“Canadian Summer,” “Where’s Ace?”) to add to next summer’s party playlist, and the band pulls off Westerberg-isms (that is, lines that are equally clever and lazy without coming off as insincere) like no big thing (“If you’re not disgusted by me, come give me a kiss / I watch TV for hours then I get up, take a piss / If the house burns down it’s cuz I didn’t hear the kettle hiss” from the title track shines in particular). But like most college rock revival bands, there’s not a whole lot of staying power; these songs go in one ear and out the other.
It’s not the worst thing, however, because it’s enjoyable. Force of Nurture might not be album of the year, but if you’re looking for something to put on as the soundtrack to next time you’re hanging out on the front porch then look no further.
3 / 5
RIYL: The Strokes, Phantom Planet, latter-day (Pleased to Meet Me – All Shook Down) The Replacements