I suppose it is an old fashioned approach to make an album of songs that are linked together but rock music has been around quite a while now so it seems somewhat appropriate that “Nocturnal Sun” by Null Rays rolls like it has fallen, in its entirety, off the highway of life just outside Pittsburgh.
Hiding under that rock band with a purpose persona, however, is a band that can successfully tell a story through song with Null Rays – they are from Rhode Island, by the way – holding a steady seventeen song course. That course takes them through the usual avenues and alleyways that a rock band would walk and, armed with a pocketful of muscular riffs, it is fair to say that they make pretty good progress. All conventional stuff, of course, or at least “Nocturnal Sun” has the appearance of being conventional but that straight down the line presentation in fact hides a rather more interesting lyrical direction that, especially in the cases of “Adolescent Day” and “Bloody Mistakes”, makes closer study more worthwhile than you might have otherwise been expecting.
So, that makes Null Rays a band with a story to tell. Fiction, fact, who cares? The point is that “Nocturnal Sun” proves to be an album with Cinemascope ambition. You might perhaps find such a thing pretentious but I would recommend that you hit the replay burton before coming to your final conclusion.
Best song? The resonant “Bloody Mistakes”.
The verdict? Smarter than your average rock.