|Cheap Trick – ‘The Latest’ (Cheap Trick Unlimited)|
|Written by Johnny H|
|Wednesday, 16 September 2009 14:42|
Cheap Trick really are something a bit special in this day and age. They can count themselves as one of only a handful of bands still in existence that can genuinely say they have influenced and outlasted generations of others that followed them (strangely some of those influenced musicians can be found guesting on this very album). And in the Powerpop genre, you have a scene Cheap Trick almost single-handedly help invent way back in the early Seventies.
So it's always a real delight when I receive something new from Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Bun E Carlos, especially when the release is as strong as this one, the rather aptly titled 'The Latest'.
After a rather sombre start with a musical tribute to a recently departed friend in the shape of 'Sleep Forever', The Trick unleash their version of Slade's Old New Borrowed and Blue album track 'When The Lights Are Out' and we're off.
From the spiky pop of 'Miss Tomorrow' onwards, the band really do shift things up a gear for me and 'Sick Man Of Europe' 'California Girl' and 'Everyday You Make Me Crazy' gives me an immediate image of Rick spinning around stages worldwide spitting out guitar picks like the demented individual we all know and love.
The maturity of the song writing overall on 'The Latest' is something of a joy to behold and on the slower tracks like 'Miracle', 'Times Of Our Lives', 'Smile' and 'Everybody Knows' there is more than a doffed baker boy cap to a certain Mr Lennon and Co. But as Cheap Trick have never been afraid to declare this obvious influence (I mean they have also just recorded and released Sgt Peppers live) you can simply shrug your shoulders, sit back, and think 'top effort guys'.
You can certainly never accuse these guys of being lazy, and you have to stand back in amazement when tracks like 'Alive' are delivered with more gusto and verve than most bands a third of their age could ever hope to manage. And with a US Tour currently underway with Def Leppard and Poison - where Cheap Trick are openers! - you do have to wonder if the other bands are thinking, "Can we really follow that?" night after night.
Always leaders and never followers, 'The Latest' is a gargantuan slab of near perfect powerpop from Cheap Trick that will hopefully see them visit us in the UK some time very soon and garner them their deserved status of musical innovators worldwide.