The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




MAY 30 2014



Night Ranger is one of those names that Melodic Rock fans will immediately have high expectations of, though given the longevity of the band – 32 years old this year - it might surprise you that this is only their 10th outing. And for those of us that loved 2011’s ‘Somewhere in California’ it’s interesting that this is an altogether less straightforward proposition than that album, having more in keeping with 2008’s ‘Hole in the Sun’. In reality ‘High Road’ falls between the two.


There are of course all the things you love about Night Ranger on this album – the trademark twin guitars, the keys, and those great vocals and backing harmonies.  When you add to that some great compositions then you have a fine album, but where it fits in the Night Ranger pantheon is very much down to personal taste.


Opening title track ‘High Road’ is a song that exemplifies the type of feel-good Melodic Rock that Night Ranger is known for and it is the best track here amongst some serious competition. One of which is the following track ‘Knock Knock Never Stop’ before ‘Rollin’ On’ adds some serious weight  to proceedings.


It’s a case of so far so good as ‘Don’t Live Here Anymore’ before the more restrained ‘Don’t Live Here Anymore’ steps into soulful ballad territory to great effect. It’s another winner and so far not a step has been out of place.


Our favourite perhaps comes next with ‘I’m Coming Home’ hitting all the right notes before a brace of solid but comparatively workmanlike outings. ‘Only For You Only’ steps back again to ballad territory and again is quite exceptional. ‘Hang On’ hits that middle ground with some amazing heavy guitars and quite stunning vocals, while the oddly named ‘St Bartholemews’ puts the foot to the peddle before melting into the other balladic highpoint ‘Brothers’.


Closing with the instrumental ‘LA No Name’ might not be the most obvious way to close, but on an album like this you can almost forgive anything. Is it better than ‘Somewhere in California’ well for me not quite, but the highpoints are higher here.


Surely this will feature in some of the best of 2014 lists…



by Mark Diggins