Midnight To Midnight


Independent release, 2007


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Sergeant is as old-school as MTV playing music videos. Midnight To Midnight takes a trip back to the period where indie rock started coming of age, where punk was not just brash and arrogant but also mysterious and sophisticated. This San Francisco quartet continues in the footsteps of The Pixies and early PJ Harvey. Their stoic and edgy brand of indie rock is passé, but wonderfully so.

The band doesn’t believe so much in melodious hooks as they do in crunchy guitars, which are reminiscent of the beginnings of grunge. And like a true punk band at heart, the rhythm section pounds with ferocious authority. Unlike post-grunge indie, where the music started to take turn towards the mainstream, the songs on this record have an eccentricity; the choruses aren’t the main focus and the structure is always haunted with an element of unpredictability. In the old days, this strangeness in music presented the perfect platform for equally eccentric frontmen/women to bring out the geniuses in their idiosyncrasies. It’s hard to imagine what PJ Harvey in her ghoulish early years and Frank Black with The Pixies in their heyday would sound like had the music not been a little off-center as well. The same can be said of Sergeant frontwoman/principal songwriter Keli Reule and the music that supports her. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Reule is an amazing singer, but the striking feature of her vocals is not how well she sings, but how one-of-a-kind she is. In spite of the distinctly Patty Smith drawl in Reule’s vocals, her inebriated yet indignant vocals are as unique to her as her fingerprints. The droopiness in her singing renders her words almost unintelligible as they come out as disjointed syllables. Like the case with any peculiar singer, Reule’s vocals need getting used to. But so does the band’s dry and jagged music. There is refinement to Sergeant’s music, but this band is far from attempts to crossover, at least in comparison to the current state of the vast number of indie acts that actually represent the face of pop music.

Alas, Midnight To Midnight is Sergeant’s only record, as the group has disbanded. Thankfully their music is still alive and available for purchase on the Internet. Despite how awfully good this disc is, Sergeant’s demise is small beer. However, their music is a little piece of indie history that is definitely worth preserving.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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