Monday, April 11, 2016

Cheap Trick - Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello

It sure would have been awkward if Cheap Trick had released a clunker of an album right around the same moment they were being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. As it is, Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello, the band’s first effort since 2009’s The Latest, is a celebration in its own right. This guitar-driven collection revels in the energetic, highly melodic rock Cheap Trick is known for, but also breaks some new ground.

“Long Time No See Ya” is a glam rock sequel to the power pop gem “So Good To See You” from Cheap Trick’s second, and for some, best-loved album In Color. The brash “Heart On The Line,” “Blood Red Lips,” and “Roll Me” give Rick Nielsen plenty of room to cut loose on guitar, while Robin Zander proves he’s still one of rock’s most versatile vocalists. “Sing My Blues Away” and “No Direction Home” find the band taking a more nuanced approach.

I wouldn’t be the first to suggest “When I Wake Up Tomorrow” was influenced by David Bowie; it’s a magnificent song with haunting keyboards and Zander’s melancholy singing. “The In Crowd,” on the other hand, is a wild take on a vintage soul hit that recalls how Cheap Trick first garnered global attention with their version of Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame.” On “The Sun Never Sets,” they combine Electric Light Orchestra and rock opera echoes of The Who into a gorgeous love song. The sun is definitely still shining on Cheap Trick.

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