Out of Providence, Rhode Island, are the Null Rays. This band formed back in the '90s, calling themselves 'Nocturnal Sun' and playing post-punk and hard rock. Their influences, like Soundgarden, Dead Kennedys, Alice in Chains, and Guns N' Roses, are reflected in their current rock/metal sound. Since reforming, together the Null Rays have released two full-length albums since 2020. They're back with a newly released album titled, Midnight at High Noon. Let's dig into one of the tracks off the record, "Eyes Wide Open."
"Eyes Wide Open"
Songwriting: Carpentier, D. Blake, T. Bianchino
Lead Vocals: Jason Carpentier
Bongos, Backing Vocals: Scott SanGiacomo
Backing Vocals: Kate Kenney Nutting, J. Michael Graham
Vocals: Sarah Kenyon
Conga: Scott Kenyon
Drums: Dana Blake
Bass: Ron Dumont
Guitars, Keyboard: Todd Bianchino
Recorded: Newcastle Sound, Bristol RI
Engineer, mix, master: Randy Hunicke
In the words of Null Rays: "The song took shape in November 2022 during a jam with Todd Bianchino (of "This Modern Bridge" and "The StereoTypes.") Todd jammed some songs, and we just jammed off of that, with Dana turning the song's drums into a tribal beat. The vocal melody came almost immediately, set to the vibe of the fictional character "StormFront," played by actress Aya Cash in "The Boys," a dark take on a group of corporate superheroes that airs on Amazon.
Once the tune started taking further shape in the studio, the chorus became a "gang" with many different people joining in...members of the band, Grandevolution and the Full-Time Dreamers came in to lend a hand. Then Todd went back and threw some keyboards. We added other percussions like bongos and congas. It just became this really "big" song."
LONG STORY SHORT: The Null Rays' "Eyes Wide Open" is not your regular hard rock track. Five minutes of energy is peppered with a keyboard line, guitar solos, and dark lyricism as Carpentier sings, "Put your hands around my throat/watching the lights go out/with eyes wide open." They've also added exciting percussion to the mix, like bongos and congas, a fresh element to an otherwise predictable genre.
Stream "Eyes Wide Open" below!