There’s a strange thing happening within the world of rock music – a fair few “older” bands are starting to make great albums again. Cheap Trick like many other bands (Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Thunder, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, hell, even Rod Stewart to give just a few examples), had a “peak time” in the 70s and 80s when their creative and commercial stars seemed to be at their zenith – only to be followed by a fairly fallow period, artistically speaking, at some time during the 90s/00s. All the aforementioned have come through the “critical slump” and started producing decent albums again. Cheap Trick’s latest offering, the shall we say – interestingly titled – “Bang, Zoom, Crazy…. Hello” very much seems to fit the late period creative renaissance model.
Opening with the stomper “Heart On The Line”, Cheap Trick set their stall out. It’s not necessarily a new sound for them, perhaps slightly heavier but still with plenty of great hooks, melodies and harmonies. “No Direction Home” reinforces the point with a cracking chorus and confirms the band are at the top of their game. “When I Wake Up” slows the pace but doesn’t falter with the quality. “Do You Believe Me” – after starting with a drumbeat that sound like it’s going to be T-Rex’s “Jeepster” - morphs into a riff that AC/DC would be proud of. “Blood Red Lips” is another nod to glam. Well not so much a nod but an all out trip back to.... The rest of the album is of similar quality to what us oldies would refer to as “side 1”…..
Cheap Trick are often accused of being too in awe of The Beatles (as evidenced by a run in Las Vegas doing the whole of the Sgt Pepper’sLonely Hearts Club Band and then releasing it on DVD!) but this album is more of an American rock album with great riffs and memorable tunes. Besides, anyone being compared to possibly the most influential band of all time, must be doing something right.
The only mis-step seems to be when they stray away from the tried and trusted CT formula, to cover Roxy Music’s “The In-Crowd”. Considering they’ve written ten other brilliant songs, I think we can forgive them this one but perhaps ask why the band felt this was a necessary addition to what is a very good album.
The band have certainly hit the mark with this release – so much so that I had a “Victor Kiam/Remington Moment”….. Here at MusicMuso, we are often given copies of albums or download codes – the latter being the case with this, however, I could only stream one track at a time which was slightly annoying when trying to listen to the album in one sitting. I enjoyed the songs so much as stand alone pieces that I wanted to hear the album as it was intended – so I shelled out some of my own hard earned cash to download a copy. I’m not sure I can give much higher recommendation than that……. Cheap Trick are back!
Review by Adrian Grainger