April 24, 2008


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Midnight Falling, Beautiful Pearl
Self-released, 2006
Milford, N.H., band Midnight is henceforth to be known as Midnight Falling, as good an excuse as any for us to play catch-up with their self-released LP from 2006, just into the office.

Brooklyn-born guitarist Silvio Giarratana started writing and producing original tunes way back in 1974, but keeping stride with his Ozzy Osbourne wowie-zowie shred-work is an attention to indie detail generally eschewed by guys who swore off music after Foghat fell off the charts. Not to say Silvio’s a wild-eyed Tool fanatic, but his mind’s obviously open.

The vocal tasks are Stacey Serbo’s, another seasoned pro who’s more Natalie Merchant than Joan Jett, even if she could karaoke Pat Benatar for money. More studio effects on her tracks would have helped, not to open a can of worms that the band’s most assuredly sick of thinking about two years after the fact; a vision of Natalie Merchant playing on a Zakk Wylde album isn’t the single most ridiculous thing one could imagine, but the planning stages would require more frothing debate than the Continental Congress.

There’s a lot of depth and old-school subtlety to the songs, leaving as Giarratana’s only remaining challenge choosing between easing up on his killer-axe or squeezing more Benatar out of Serbo. A few listens to a Collide record would help out. A-Eric W. Saeger