4 out of 5 Stars!
Back in 1972, this German band released its one and only album.
Because of the thick Hammond organ and Psych guitar, Night Sun reminded me (primarily) of other German acts such as Birth Control or Lucifer’s Friend (its debut album), only heavier. Much heavier, actually. Just listen to the two slamming opening tracks—”Plastic Shotgun” and “Crazy Woman”—and hear what sounds like Birth Control meets Deep Purple in a marriage of fuzz guitar and Hammond, with phased drums and thumping bass in the background along with a vocalist not afraid to belt out the lyrics like his very life depended on it.
One of my favorite tracks, “Got a Bone of My Own,” starts with eerie instrumentation preceding a killer riff, both immediately bringing to mind the debut Black Sabbath album, the album where Ozzy and company clearly displayed Blues inspirations. Is this what Deep Purple may have sounded like had the group had Tony Iommi on guitar delivering his “evil” riffing? One can only guess.
“Slush Pan Man” shows even more of Night Sun’s own Blues-based influences when it comes to the sound, but again, wrapping them up in a catchy, memorable Deep Purple-like riff that would have fit right at home on the In Rock album.
Side B opens with another monster track named “Living With the Dying,” which somehow reminds me of Led Zeppelin, only with more of a Deep Purple feel, due mainly to the organ. And once again, those phased drums pop up in the middle of the song, playing a rather extended solo bit before the guitar and Hammond trade their own heated solos prior to the final verse.
“Come Down” opens with a moody organ background before the singer lays a pretty melody over the top of it, momentarily adding a welcome break from the frantic madness of the previous track. Before long, however, this ballad turns into a mid-paced rocker in the best tradition of early Lucifer’s Friend or Birth Control. This is another of my favorites.
Some additional organ and guitar solos pop up on “Blind,” another blues-based song that conjures up the same style as Deep Purple’s “Lazy.” While “Nightmare” is a fast-paced slammer (similar to Deep Purple’s “Speed King” in pace and style). Here the Hammond organ is given a chance to truly shine and the singer even produces some screams in an attempt to replicate Ian Gillan’s unique vocal delivery.
The album closes with another rocker called “Don’t Start Flying,” which surprisingly brings in a sax, adding yet another dimension to the band’s overall sound. Can you picture a song by Deep Purple with an in-your-face sax wailing throughout? Hard to imagine, I’m sure, but this is probably what it may have sounded like had Deep Purple attempted it.
Anyway, since some of the songs here have a touch of Progressive Rock included, I can’t help wondering what Night Sun might have produced had the band stayed together for at least another few albums. Would the group have gone more Prog-Rock or continued on with the Blues-based Heavy Metal sound, or would Night Sun have continued to perfect an equal blending of the two genres? Who knows. The band had great potential.