Written by Brandon George
The vibe of “In The Midnight Hour,” latest release from Connecticut and Massachusetts art-punk band Perennial seems to unquestionably be: sometimes you need to thrash around for a bit.
An exercise in brevity, the longest song on “In the Midnight Hour” is two and a half minutes. In each song, the band asserts a simple, logical progression from section to section, allowing the production, the brilliance of its individual compositional movements, and the sheer energy to carry the listener on the journey.
The band’s confidence in this formula is infectious, as it splinters out like static electricity with each spiking breakdown and call-and-response scream.
The only breaks in the infinite momentum of “In The Midnight Hour” serve to increase the tension leading to the next release. “Lauren Bacall in Blue” surrenders its uptempo explosiveness for a bridge that emulates the style of mystery capers.
For only a moment, suspended chords and trumpets mimicking the traded screams that precede them, until they once again give way to sheer viscerality. “Hour Of The Wolf” closes with thirty seconds of gently layered synth organs fading slowly away, an act of breathing that lays the red carpet down for what may be the most eruptive track on the album, “Perennial In A Haunted House.”
Between all of this, layered into these sections of respite and transition, is a thematic and lyrical throughline of the title track. Repeated like a mantra, the invocation of the midnight hour resurfaces again and again until the album’s final moments.
This dynamic of trading between those moments of brief respite and pure radioactivity, and its lyrical constants make “In The Midnight Hour” an addictive and accessible listen that cannot go missed.