NISSAN is Unstoppable!

Album review by Vince Leigh

Using conventional sounds with the unexpected

Half Past Midnight Thirty is NISSAN: Unstoppable’s follow-up to the 2021 album Cereal Sounds, a wide-ranging detonation of experimental electro-eclectic indie pop. And the new one? There is a similar approach at play, utilising the conventional with the non-conventional, toying with arrangements, textures, disjointed melodic counterpoints, and the not-so-disjointed, exploring the edges of a variegated style base, which include funk, pop, electro, and the occasional retro-flavoured fusion of more amiable genres but there are some notable changes. Perhaps one of the most significant differences is the consistency of the album’s appropriation of guitars, which seems to be—aside from the voice work—the governing instrument, at least, in terms of song craft and, to a lesser degree, the production. 

Morgan Quinn (aka NISSAN: Unstoppable), the former member of Canberra band Pleased to Jive You, has kept the more intrusive sound excursions heard on Cereal Sounds to a minimum and included songs with more traditional tendencies. Quite a few of the eighteen tracks on Half Past Midnight Thirty exceed the two-and-a-half-minute mark and feature elements which allude to a strategic alliance of musicianship with creativity that does not represent music for music’s sake but vie for our emotional attention also. And that is a welcome departure.

Funk-fulled indie-pop with a jaunty prog-rock twist

If I were to choose a recurrent musical sensibility that courses through Half Past Midnight Thirty, I would nominate funk-fuelled indie pop; this is the dominant strain here. Still, it is pulled this way and that by jaunts into a prog-rock-like territory, as in Face To The Palm, noise-inspired industrial rock (Walking Through Mud) and indie folk, such as in Knowledge Of Sally. Mostly, the production follows the requirements of these various modifications, with some tracks nuanced with just the proper doses of difference, such as the shuffle-based sibling tracks, The Obvious Thing and The Contract. So once again, Half Past Midnight Thirty is another reveal not only of Morgan Quinn’s ambitious focus but the ever-developing finesse of his abilities to achieve those ambitions.

You can hear this album now on Bandcamp

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