Dec 2011 28

Night Surgeon - Day for NightNight Surgeon
Category: Electro-pop / Rock / New Wave
Album: Day for Night
Stars: 3
Blurb: A strong debut from Portland’s brave new wavers.


Upon first glance, it’s instinctive to prejudge this band. From the unabashed reference to one of the most gothic cultural events of the decade so far, to the self-described genres, it’s easy to write Night Surgeon off as simple trend followers. As a pleasant surprise, the music is interesting, catchy, and above all else, well written. With one member of the duo educated in music business and the other simply in music composition, you can hear the time spent in the classroom.

Consisting of Patrick Replogle and John Boyd, Night Surgeon churns out nine intricately composed almost-ready-for-radio gems. “Better to be Young” will likely make a statement on college stations, reminiscent of late ‘80s Duran Duran with hints of post Richie Manic Street Preachers. As musicians, Replogle and Boyd have their chops down enough to compete against any longstanding veteran. Where this record starts to lose its luster is with its composition and execution.

The synths, at times, become very tedious and sound almost as if they were added simply to retain the electronic element of the band. The sheer Depeche Mode-ness of the album as a whole feels very out of place in context with the strength of the organic instrumentation and could really have been left out for the most part. For example, “Brick Moon” boasts elegant vocals and an incredibly hooky chorus, but is all but completely overshadowed by the 8-bit video game synths and loops. Smaller doses of the electronics could have catapulted this release into top 10 lists as the songs have the ability to stand on their own. Perhaps the inclusion of more band members would force more compromise and smooth out the execution.

On the whole, Day for Night is very much worth checking out and Night Surgeon is very much worth keeping up with. All in all, this is a release that these two accomplished musicians can be proud of.
Track list:

  1. Color Me Black and White
  2. Strength in Numbers
  3. Roman Error
  4. Brick Moon
  5. Countrymen
  6. Better to be Young
  7. Heavy Light
  8. Day for Night
  9. Let Go

Night Surgeon MySpace
Night Surgeon Facebook
Night Surgeon Bandcamp
Too Dark Records
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Denyss McKnight (DMcKnight)

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