Rock Eyez

Y Z #

To submit your
material for
review contact

Get Firefox!

eXTReMe Tracker
Nigth Ranger
Hole In The Sun
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock
Mark Balogh
3.5 stars

I had an interesting beginning with the new NIGHT RANGER record. So let me start off by sharing that story with you and hopefully it will give you the same feeling when you hear it as when I when I first did.

Back on May 11, 2007, I was listening to a syndicated radio show called “Friday Night Rocks” hosted by legendary DJ Eddie Trunk. It was a few minutes before 2am and as the show was winding down Eddie said he was going to play a mystery track. He explained it was a new song by an established band and he wanted to see if anyone could guess who it was. As he started the song, I listened with curiosity. The song kicked in with a heavy guitar riff and at first I couldn’t quite place the vocals but I was impressed with it for sure. As the background harmonies came into play, I thought ‘could this be NIGHT RANGER?’ So I quickly dialed the radio station’s phone number and after a couple rings, a voice said; “Do you know who it is?” I responded with my guess of NIGHT RANGER and told I was correct! I was asked to hold on the line as I was to be rewarded with a couple CD’s and DVD’s for my effort. When the song finally finished Eddie Trunk asked his assistant if anyone knew who it was. His assistant responded that they received about 60 phone calls and only one person knew who it was… that was I in case you weren’t following! J

By the way, the song that was played that night was “Tell Your Vision”, the lead track off the new NIGHT RANGER album “Hole in the Sun”. As I said, I was impressed with the track. It was heavier then I would have initially expected from a NIGHT RANGER song but all the elements that made me a fan back when—the killer guitar riffs, the great harmony vocals and all-around superb musicianship—were intact. Upon first listen the song might be a bit of a departure for fans of the band but when I really thought about the bands earlier material with songs like “Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight”, “Can Find Me A Thrill” and “Touch Of Madness” a song like “Tell Your Vision” isn’t that far off. I mean one of the elements I touched on a moment ago was the killer guitar work this band has always offered. The twin attack of Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson has always been way above your average AOR/Melodic rock act and so it should come as no surprise that those elements remain intact on “Hole In The Sun”.

After the impressive beginning to the record the second song, “Drama Queen”, starts out with a contemporary guitar sound but upon repeated listening reminds me of their classic “You Can Still Rock In America” in its feel. It’s a catchy song, which may have you singing along by the end, and again it features some downright cool guitar work. “You’re Gonna Hear it From Me” is another song with an updated sound from the band but the chorus is catchy and the song is a fun listen.

“Whatever Happened”, which features Jack Blades on lead vocals, continues to have some updated elements but it has a classic NIGHT RANGER sounding chorus.

“There Is Life” is the first ballad of the record and it’s done in a classy fashion—almost with a “Sister Christian” feel. This band certainly knows how to write a song whether it’s 1983 or 2007!

“Rockstar” is probably my least favorite track on the album. It’s got what I consider somewhat silly lyrical content and although I’m sure the band considered it very tongue-in-cheek when penning it I just tend to not be a fan of these types of tracks.

Next up is the title track “Hole in the Sun” and this song brings things back up a notch but only slightly as it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The track is different—even for this record. It has an almost rap-like verse but once again as the chorus kicks in it’s totally NIGHT RANGER.

“Fool In Me” is a mellow acoustic track. It’s not contemporary sounding at all but it is a change of pace for the band. It’s an interesting track and features a great little electric guitar solo.

“White Knuckle Ride” is another track in the same vein as “Hole in the Sun.” For me, it’s experimental for NIGHT RANGER, but after several listens, it starts to settle in. It’s funny but if I had heard songs like this from the band back in the 90’s I may have had a different view but when I hear them now I can appreciate that they have updated their sound but still retain the trademark elements that keep it sounding like NIGHT RANGER.

That now brings us to one of the stronger tracks on the record in “Revelation 4 am.” It’s an acoustic based song with a great chorus and it is a very memorable tune.

“Wrap it Up” starts out sounding a little like the classic “Four in the Morning” in the initial few seconds but it quickly develops in a more contemporary sounding song much like the band featured in the beginning of this record. The chorus keeps your attention and the underlying keyboards keep it straying too far from the NIGHT RANGER sound.

“Being” is a moody mid-tempo song and nice way to close out the album. It’s a Kelly Keagy sung track on an album, which seems dominated by his leads vocals.

One last thing… if you noticed I have used words like “contemporary” and “updated” in my review but I hesitated to use the word modern because that almost seems to be a bad word when talking about an AOR band in this day and age. In the end this album is still very much NIGHT RANGER but it is an updated sound for the band that makes them sound fresh in my opinion. Some might not get onboard with this direction but I don’t really have a problem with it. Check it out—just don’t expect it to sound like “Seven Wishes” part 2!

Band Lineup:
  • Kelly Keagy - Drums, Lead vocals
  • Jack Blades - Bass, Lead vocals
  • Brad Gillis - Guitars, Background vocals
  • Jeff Watson - Guitars, Background vocals
  • Michael Lardie - Keyboards, Background vocals


Track Listing:
  1. Tell Your Vision
  2. Drama Queen
  3. You're Gonna Hear It From Me
  4. Whatever Happened
  5. There Is Life
  6. Rock Star
  7. Hole In The Sun
  8. Fool In Me
  9. White Knuckle Ride
  10. Revelation 4 AM
  11. Wrap It Up
  12. Being


Rock Eyez Ratings
Ratings effective 4/13/05 © 2005 - 2007. The contents of this site may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of
Site design and layout was created by Carlos Rodrigues. Site Maintained by