One of the most important traits of a musician is his or her ability to balance the message of any song with the tone of the music. In the case of Alone At 3AM, lead singer Max Fender’s vocals provide a gruff but passionate sound that perfectly matches the storytelling possessed within the lyrics and the slow lilting quality of the instrumentation, completing the image of a band that has paid its dues through countless hours of effort. Songs like “Weekends at the Cape” and “Watching Trains” deal with simple memories that had a clear effect on the writer based on the honest expression of the stories, a refreshing straightforwardness not found in most music. The album closes strong, highlighting the vocals of keyboardist Sarah Davis in the songs “Wolf in the Woods” and “I Know Someone in the City,” and paired with Fender’s raw vibe, her sweet, mellifluous tone achieves a perfect balance that will give listeners a reason to put Midwest Mess on repeat.
– Ben Zorich