Released by: Frontiers Records
Release Date: June 21st, 2011
Jack Blades – bass guitar, lead & backing vocals
Kelly Keagy – drums, percussion, backing & lead vocals
Brad Gillis – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Joel Hoekstra – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Eric Levy – keyboards, piano, backing vocals
Growin’ Up In California
Lay It On Me
Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)
Follow Your Heart
Time Of Our Lives
No Time To Lose Ya
Live For Today
It’s Not Over
End Of The Day
Rock N’ Roll Tonite
Say It With Love
Another one of those culturally significant bands from the 80’s has jumped and lead forwarded with a new record. Yes I’m talking about the new Night Ranger record “Somewhere In California”. I haven’t really kept in touch much with the band after their reunion in 1996, and after the lack luster release of “Neverland” in 1997 I was left with a puzzling feeling as if the winds have blown out of their sails, that particular record had no hooks and the songwriting was below par for the band. Fast forward to 2007 and the group updates their sounds a bit I guess trying to keep with trends in the scene, but releases a solid record in “Hole In The Sun” regaining back my interests in the band.
I say this because on the new effort by the California based outfit you feel some of those same modern rock grooves that Hole featured, except the production here is a bit better and the members of the band turn up a pretty good showing for their part. Key members of the group return for their 10th studio album, Kelly Keagy, Brad Gillis and of course Jack Blades all original members are back once again.
One of the members who’s solo stuff I really enjoyed was drummer Kelly Keagy’s project which involved people like Jim Peterik and also Reb Beach with highlights from the particular album “I’m Alive”. Other then that I didn’t really know what to expect from the band but I guessed they would of update their sound a bit and maybe keep on processing the feel of past recent records. To my surprise the band here on some songs do still touch upon their trademark sound just a bit. No you won’t find any tracks like classic Ranger cuts “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” or “Four In The Morning” but still is a step forward none the less.
I love the harder faster paced stuff from them and even the more Melodic Rock ballads from the past are great I still think the guys can rip it live anywhere and energizer tunes really made the band great to see live. So when I heard the track “Lay It On Me” I thought the rest of the record would follow suit, sadly it only does in spots. I didn’t care much for the single “Growing Up In California” and that opening riff sounds like a blatant rip of a Foo Fighter song; ouch….The more melodic hook lines in “No Time To Lose Ya” bounces through nicely and the chorus vocals here are pretty good. Some songs work better then other and a couple of less interesting ones come along in the numbers “Live For Today” which drags kind too long even though it features great guitars. On the bright side the excellent track “End Of The Day” should of been the bands first single here, a great melodic rocker with a tasty chorus and tight guitar lead, easily the best track on the album.
I know many will be ecstatic about this release but while is not bad I can’t come out screaming bloody brilliant either, the fact remains is that Night Ranger is still a very good band this day in age and like many past Hard Rock rockers these guys have experience and nothing can bring more to the table then just that. I would of loved more Melodic stuff and the writing is just fair for the most part. I think the band played it safe more then anything, if you’re a Night Ranger fan I don’t see how you would be let down.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 7/10