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Midnight Flight

Music For Nations (1984)
Rating: 7/10

Well, I must admit that Earthshaker’s strongly American-influenced hard rock has never really done anything for me. I’ve always found the Japanese band’s past albums too pedestrian to warrant any serious wear and tear on my turntable.

With Midnight Flight the direction is pretty much the same, though with a couple of exceptions the overall quality of material seems to be a lot stronger. Certainly the band will need to reproduce songs to the quality of ‘Ushinawareta 7224’, ‘Radio Magic’ and the title track – with its Styx-like backing vocal harmonies – if they are going to make any impact in the commercial rock field. At the same time, Earthshaker must dispense with monotonous ballads like ‘Zawameku Tokieto’, ‘Tada Kanashiku’ and ’Family’ which has that same sloppy appeal as Slade’s ‘My Oh My’. To me, in a ballad the lyrics become as equally important as the music, so when those lyrics are in Japanese it’s defeating the object for a band with their eyes firmly on the English-speaking American market.

‘T-O-K-Y-O’ is typical Earthshaker… one paced “plod-rock”. The fast paced ‘Money’ however is a completely different proposition; a heavier approach I’d like to see the band adopting more in the future. Still, all in all, Midnight Flight is probably Earthshaker’s best album to date.

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 9 (1985)

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