Night Ranger: Somewhere In California

The veteran hair-rockers find their feet again.

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Three years ago, Hole In The Sun caused a heap of controversy. Not only did Night Ranger’s fan-base largely spurn its modern rock ambitions, the album also prompted the exit of guitarist Jeff Watson, whose place on tour was taken by Winger’s Reb Beach.

Mercifully, Somewhere In California represents a return to the San Franciscan band’s signature sound – timely in this their 30th anniversary year.

Overflowing with insistent, summery choruses, sung by bassist Jack Blades and drummer Kelly Keagy, the likes of Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight), No Time To Lose Ya and Rock‘n’Roll Tonite nod respectfully at Night Ranger’s biggest hits, though with the radiant keys of Eric Levy reined in, the irresistible video cut Growin’ Up In California pools an exuberant hook with Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra’s chunky, squealing guitars to provide the record’s high point.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.