Night By Night’s cosmically explosive intro to their debut album NxN hooks you in. Time to Escape does exactly what it needs to. It encapsulates the whole band perfectly in one song. I was once told that A&R folk give a song/album 30 seconds to capture their attention and make them want to listen to more and Night By Night seem to have that in the bag with Time to Escape.
One of several bands on the rock circuit over the last few years who, having honed their talent and fine-tuned things along the way, are finally releasing their debut album. This is one of several sought after debut albums and it seems it was well worth the wait.
Night By Night do catchy choruses well and Holding Onto Holding On is an example of this, whilst Can’t Walk Away oozes the 80’s rock influence of the band both musically and lyrically. Music lovers are often searching for something new, something different to what they have heard before, but for a generation of musicians who have been brought up on rock music of the 1970’s and 1980’s, it is hard to escape that influence that is so imbedded in their musical psyche. It can be hard to find a modern twist that makes you stand out, and whilst I question whether you need to, it seems that Night By Night have found a great amalgamation of the two in NxN. Night By Night pick their favourite bits and seek to bring them into the 21st Century, whilst remaining honest to their musical education.
The slow paced Everywhere Tonight, is for me perhaps the weaker track on the album. I just want them to do a more anthemic melodic number, the sort of thing Bon Jovi are so bloody good at. Ben Christo’s guitar line is there, the potential is there, for me it just isn’t realised.
They leave me no time to ponder that thought as they return to the heavy guitar riffs and great AOR that they are so good at in Siren. Having seen them live on several occasions, I know that Night By Night are able to transfer this into the live environment, an important part of which is the rhythm section of Damien Diablo on drums, Johnny Thornton on bass and Tom Daniel on guitar who are as solid live as they are on this album and that is essential in today’s market. The entrancing lyrics of Siren bleed nicely into latest sing
le A Thousand Lies, which is an awesome track and a wonderful power house example of one of Night By Night’s biggest assets, their beautiful vocal harmonies. It is hard to find this compatibility vocally amongst so many band members within one band. There is not a dud voice on any member of Night By Night. Ben Christo’s sleek guitar lines and the screams from singer Henry Rundell help to make this the fantastic track that it is. Certainly the best track on the album for me, along with opener Time to Escape.
What Everywhere Tonight lacked The Moment has, so Night By Night have proved to me they have what I was looking for, they must have more of these up the sleeves of Ben Christo, although I don’t think I have ever seen him with sleeves, just a vest top!
I digress a little, but special note should be made to the fantastic, eye catching artwork of Paul Jackson that fronts the album. In a time when people seem to care less about the physical product, it is great to still see bands putting time and thought into what they release.
If Only opens a little Scopions-esque with its guitar line, but by the chorus we get that crisp edge of the music of the 00’s. This song is a great example of how Night By Night combine the past and present of their chosen genre. It is also not short of yet more quality guitar solos, If Only is the Ronseal of modern melodic rock.
The album closes somewhat left field compared to the rest of the album with Never Die Again. It has me thinking of Evanescence, not in sound, so much as arrangement. It’s the haunting opening combined with the lyric “Bring me back to life”, before hitting things hard musically that send my mind that way, and leaving me with a few drops of David Bowie. I am not sure if this is a hint at where Night By Night might take things in the future, or just that they wanted to try something a little bit different, it certainly sticks in your mind and gets better the more you listen to it.
This album cannot fail to appeal to those of the Def Leppard generation and their children who have grown up listening to what their parents play. I recommend they buy two copies when NxN is released in the UK on 14th July on Sun Hill Production/Cargo Records and in Europe on 11th July and USA/Canada on 15th July, as one or the other is going to end up borrowing it and not giving it back.