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Midway - 'Low Life' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/27/ab/16/Midway-Low-Life-28-1502289035.jpg Hot

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An original, positive and energising brand of AOR Rock.

Once a four-piece, now a trio, it seems the change has done Midway good. The Swedish band follows up their infectious 2015 album 'Kickstart Riot' with an up-beat and cheeky collection of tracks in 'Low Life'.

The lead vocalist, Leaf, has taken over lead guitar duties as well as upping his vocal game in the higher registers. 'Right Now' shows off the slightly stronger melodic influences on this album, backed by hard, chunky riffs. 'Love Life' is dominated by drummer Thomsson and driven by Funky percussion. The lead vocals are backed with AOR-style layered backing vocals but off-set, giving a great cross-section of texture.

This time around the band isn't afraid to back off from a wall of sound and it really gives the album a mature, well-thought out feel, as well as making for some great songs. 'Fallin'' is tight and focused while 'Physical' is a catchy combination of full-bodied Hard Rock and Melodic Rock. There are times that the solos and bridges feel disjointed and just out of place, but they're never long enough to detract from a track.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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'Love Is Just A Night Away' is edged with a Sleazier feel but the chorus is still a fat slice of Melodic Rock; names like Casanova and Hardline jump to mind. '(I Can't Get) Any Younger' plays with guitar fills and great vocalisation from Leaf and there's another strange bridge but the band bursts out of it in style to finish the track.

'Lonely Man's Town' is punchy and strutting but still the band manages to soak the chorus in AOR style. Think along the lines of early H.e.a.t for the smooth combination of melodies and roughened edges. Sure, there are some questionable notes and frown-inducing moments, but the music is fabulously fresh and bleeds unabashed personality.

Overall, this album feels like a logical but laudable step on from 'Kickstart Riot'. The riffs are tighter, the performances stronger and the attitude more assured. 'Low Life' brings out an original, positive and energising brand of AOR Rock.

Sophie Brownlee

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