Perris Records
Release date: March 22, 2005

Vocals: B+
Guitars: B-
Bass: B
Drums: B
Recording Quality: B-
Lyrics: C
Originality: C
Overall Rating: B-

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

What constitutes a good CD buy nowadays? Would it suffice if that buy reminded you of a favorite musical era gone by? Let’s say an album that takes you back in time to, perhaps, a much simpler musical era, full of “Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N Roll?” How about a release that seems tailored made for a certain season (e.g., Summer)? Would it also help if that same release exuded a certain amount of “pout and circumstance?” Well Midnight Circus’ first release, Money Shot, might just satisfy on all these levels with their brand of 80s-style Hair Metal. It might not be the only CD you need this Summer, but it might be a needed reminder of a musical era that is all but long gone.

One of the most distinctive traits of Midnight Circus is Rob Howl’s vocals. Rob ends up sounding like a younger version of today’s Vince Neil (more of a Too Fast For Love era Vince Neil). Back this up with the Poison and early Motley Crüe-like rhythms contributed by the rest of the band, and you’ll understand where the “pout” comes from. Also, if the album’s cover isn’t a big enough hint, this band likes to have fun.

The release starts out in strong fashion with the track, “Psychedelic Trippin’” — an unusually named track, while at the same time being a catchy tune with a very catchy riff and chorus. This one will have you banging your head with the car windows down in the heat of Summer. “Only One” starts out with the heaviest riff on the album — this one has a solid bottom end. Once again, the same formula is used … a catchy riff with a catchy chorus. Lyrically, there’s nothing stellar here as it’s all about having fun, girls, sex, etc. Case in point, “Dirty Rhythm” which opens up with clichéd orgasmic female breathing (by the way, for those interested in the music, this track has some nice fast picking by Gregg Gill on guitar). Closing track “SMD” (stands for “Suck My …” as Anthrax once said, “Sexual organ located in the lower abdominal area”) also shows that the band’s not afraid to have fun. It’s a one and half minute exit with a female chorus chanting the unabbreviated version of “SMD.”

Bottom line, this is a decent first effort. This album won’t bowl you over with its originality, as some of the tracks will have you wondering where you heard them from before, but it will have you remembering a simpler time as the music is akin to a time when it was hairspray, girls, sex, drugs, and Rock ‘N’ Roll. All in all, an energetic album with a fun factor of ten and a recommended buy if you have some spare cash.


Rob Howl: Vocals
Gregg Gill: Guitar, Production
Allan Rogers: Bass
Rick Ward: Drums


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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