Music Review: Midland, On The Rocks

Hailing from Dripping Springs, Texas, this country trio knocked me off my feet with their 2017 release, On the Rocks.  The trio consists of lead singer, Mark Wystrach, lead guitarist/vocalist, Jess Carson and bass player/vocalist, Cameron Duddy.  Their voices blend harmoniously together and Wystrach’s laid-back vocals ooze with true country authenticity.

With 13 tracks on their On The Rocks album, there’s not a bad one in the bunch.  Midland’s voices and music are filled with country pride.  They have an old school sound with a contemporary flair.

The album kicks off with Lonely For You, a sad song about lost love.  It’s sung so well you can actually feel for the guy waiting for the phone to ring – and, of course, it never does.  But you can’t feel bad too long for the guy because the 2nd track jumps the tempo back up and puts a love-happy spring in every step.  The suggestive Make A Little is quick to assure us that there’s just not enough love in the world – and Midland has some sure-fire ways to bring sunshine in the night and make headlines of your own!

Midland’s stories on found love, lost love and being down and out, will resonate with country fans.  Each song is a story not to be missed.  At Least You Cried is about a man who lost at the game of love.  He knows his lover’s “out of here tears” are just hurt and wasted time, but he painfully thanks her for “trying.”

Check Cashin’ Country is a realistic tale of a country band on the road – tired, worn out and just eking out a living trying to turn a nickel into solid country gold.  It’s sung with such sincere conviction that you can’t help but feel like this is a very personal song based on their own experiences.

The somber lyrics to Burn Out are a real mental scorcher:  Watching cigarettes burn out – ‘til all the neon gets turned out – there’s nothing left but empty glasses now – it’s all flashers now – of a smoky memory that aint’ nothin’ but ashes …    Burn Out and their Drinkin’ Problem are country-hurtin’ songs at their best.

Somewhere On The Wind about a man who can’t seem to settle down, showcases the trio’s beautiful harmonies that are simply pure perfection.  Only Midland could turn this sad song into an understandable anthem for those with perpetual wanderlust.

The bottom line: On The Rocks has got everything that a country album should have.  Intense, believable lyrics, accomplished musicians, a solid country sound and vocals blended so beautifully that you’ll be coming back for more.  The songs are sung in an easy, laid-back manner, enhancing each intricately woven song.  Country fans should be sure to check out On The Rocks — you won’t be disappointed.

And more good news, looks like this month (March) Midland has another new release:  Sonic Ranch.  Visit their official website to order their newest release and also to view their other albums.

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