Review: Same – “Is Midnight”

Pittsburgh alt/indie quartet Same has released the digital-only single “Is Midnight” and the surprising thing about it isn’t its glassy-eyed beauty, but how different it sounds from the more driving refrains of a song like the band’s “Camp Vacation,” which opened 2016’s excellent Weird As Hell EP.

The new track, available on Bandcamp, is pure crystalline fractals, with transparent and math-drained guitars from dueling slingers Thomas Higgins and Jake Stern taking center stage. It also demonstrates the equivalent of a kind of musical low blood-pressure, a willingness to let the lull lead the way. It isn’t until two-thirds of the way through the four-minute song, in fact, that these guys even start to hint at the more expressive Sunny Day Real Estate-style emo-isms that laced Weird As Hell.

Howard Gruzinski does a fine job of keeping the time interesting, especially on the lazy-Sunday-pop chorus, but the real winner, as on Weird As Hell, is Jesse Caggiano, whose vulnerable lead vocals come to define “Is Midnight.” Recommended if you couldn’t get enough Altar Boy from the recent Altar Boy outing. – Justin Vellucci, Swordfish, April 12, 2018

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About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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