BEST ROCK BAND - 2003
Even following the head-kicking, throat-scorching, stick-it-in-yer-yeah! squall of their last album, the Midnight Evils' Estrus release Straight Til Morning remains a high note in their career. And we do mean high. "People may think that pot turns you into hippies," drummer Jesse Tomlinson noted in a recent issue of the local music mag Lost Cause. "But we recorded that whole new record high as a fuckin' kite, and it's about as un-hippieish as you can get." Tie-dyes and longhairs, cover your ears: Singer Jonny Evans shrieks like he's got the Catheters hooked directly into his person, guitarists Steve Cooper and Brian Vanderwerf and bassist Curan Folsom make like the three Stooges with their acrobatic, rhythm-fueled thrashings, and Tomlinson pounds away on drums like he's got two gavels and everyone he knows is guilty. But if these garage punks sound intimidating, consider their affection for the Twin Cities music scene: Vanderwerf regularly appears at lesser-attended local bands' shows, and during Radio K's recent Power Surge pledge-a-thon, Dillinger Four proclaimed that Folsom allowed them to auction his sideburns in support of the station. Apparently, the band whose closest approximation of a romantic song is called "Bitch Like You" is now all about the love. Maybe there's some hippie-ness in them yet.