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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Night Ranger - High Road Album Review

Release Date - 6th June
Frontiers Records



Iconic arena-rockers Night Ranger are set to release their eleventh studio album, ‘High Road’.  The cover art for ‘High Road’, incorporates elements of the artwork from the band’s previous releases (very clever).

Of the new album, front man/bassist/songwriter Jack Blades commented, “It’s almost summer and a great time to take a trip down the High Road’!  Our new record features classic Night Ranger feel-good, high-energy kick-ass rock n’ roll.  We can’t wait for our fans to hear.”  Drummer/singer Kelly Keagy added, “We’re so proud of this new record and excited to get back on the road to bring the new music to our fans.” The strength of the songwriting is the key here, and if you’re an existing fan, then you cannot fail to be disappointed and every track has Night Ranger thru the middle like a stick of rock!!

‘High Road’ is instantly memorable, form the opening keyboard bars to the punchy chorus and follows on from where ‘Growing Up In California’ left off, only this is MUCH better. I can picture an 80s video with the gang in a mustang convertible going down the 101, even if the real video doesn’t show this, this is what the song is evoking in my mind, its an instant classic

‘Knock Knock Never Stop’ has both Blades and Keagy sharing vocal duties, and it has them proclaiming ‘Rock And Roll To The End,’ and is more of a statement than a song, as I expect these guys to be doing exactly that. ‘Rollin On’ is pretty heavy by Night Ranger standards these days, and harks back to the earlier stuff – stuff being ‘Seven’

'Don’t Live Here Anymore' gives the first solo opportunity for Kelly Keagy to flex his pipes, and he is a good a singer as he was 30-odd years ago. It’s a cowboy song of exquisite quality, brought up to this standard with Gillis’ and Hoekstra’s blinding guitar work. Gillis has to be one of the most underrated guitarists in rock

I’m Coming Home is another road song and again features the dual vocal attack. ‘X Generation’ sees Hoekstra and Gillis trading licks, and coupled with Keagy’s rasping vocals it’s a blend of classic sounding Night Ranger with a 21st century kick. Night Ranger wouldn’t be Night Ranger if it weren’t for ballads, and ‘High Road’ has two of them in ‘Only For You Only’ and ‘Brothers’ falling almost into country then rock. Country is good I tell ya! ‘St. Bartholomew’s’ is another kiss ass rock track and they throw the kitchen sink at it. ‘LA No Name’ sees us out. An acoustic instrumental and is a subtle end.

It’s fair to say that Night Ranger have pulled out the stops for ‘High Road’. It is definitely a summer feel good album if ever I heard one and probably their finest in about 30 years, and stands up well alongside the established classics that Night Ranger have offered. Who says there’s no life-blood in modern melodic rock? These wily old dogs can still show the new breed a thing or two with some quality radio friendly rock n roll. This will surely sit at the top of people’s melodic rock gems of 2014.

Score 85/100

Night Ranger is: Jack Blades (bass guitar, vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums, vocals), Brad Gillis (lead & rhythm guitars), Joel Hoekstra (lead & rhythm guitars) and Eric Levy (keyboards).

Tracklisting: 

High Road;
Knock Knock Never Stop;
Rollin' On;
Don't Live Here Anymore;
I'm Coming Home;
X Generation;
Only For You Only;
Hang On;
St. Bartholomew;
Brothers;
L.A. No Name (Bonus)




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