|Tyketto – ‘Reach’ (Frontiers)|
|Written by Mark Ashby|
|Monday, 10 October 2016 03:00|
There are times when you approach a new album by a band from a certain period in your musical journey through life with varying degrees of trepidation – from anticipation to outright fear. Are they the same band you remember from that particular moment in time? Or have they gone and totally fucked it up? I’m sure many of our readers can identify with both ends of that emotional spectrum…
I’m equally sure that many readers will agree that Tyketto’s debut album, ‘Don’t Come Easy’, released a staggering quarter of a century ago, still stands proudly as one of THE classic melodic rock albums not only of its generation but also of all time. And, having seen the band live twice in the space of less than a year – first at last year’s Steelhouse festival (when I had to drag a positively drooling Mrs A out of the photo pit) and then again (flying solo) at HRH AOR – I can attest to the fact that the band (albeit with only Danny Vaughn and Michael Clayton Arbeeny left from the original line-up) certainly can still deliver the goods live. But, what about on record?
Well, 2012’s “comeback” offering ‘Dig In Deep’ – their first studio output in 17 long years – was a decent effort, and sparked a renaissance in the band’s career, leading to five years of almost solid touring - well when workaholic Vaughn wasn’t out doing either his solo stuff or his Dan Reed collaboratives. That all temporarily came to a halt, albeit briefly, when they headed to the legendary Rockfield Studios to record this, only the fifth album in their long career, in what could be perceived to be record time for a band of their pedigree.
‘Reach’ is a suitably titled album, as it does just that. It stretches both the artists involved and the listener. It makes them collaboratively expand their grasp of what they expect, both as deliverers and receivers. It both meets and defies, nay exceeds, expectations. Quite simply, it is one of those albums that makes you sit back and listen and at the end of the experience slowly exhale and go “wow”.
The first thing that strikes you about ‘Reach’ is that it sounds so fucking fresh. It’s like that new coat of paint that herself has just put on our bedroom wall. It sounds like a debut album. It sounds like a bunch of young, hungry kids out to impress, not a bunch of veteran musos in their mid-50s still trying to living the dream. But, yes, these are middle-aged guys – and they are still living it… and living it large.
Opener, lead single and the title track ‘Reach’ is the perfect introduction: a huge, swirling keyboard segues into and around a crunching guitar riff and massive main melody before everything eases back and brings in Vaughn’s stunning vocal: while many singers of his generation struggle, vainly, to hit the notes they screamed in their youth, Danny still possesses depth and range, coupled with the knowledge and ability to adapt both and utilize them to their full effect. His performance throughout the album is exemplary, especially as it displays an innate ability to combine his own natural charisma into his performance.
It’s not all about Vaughn of course. The band – Thunder bassist Chris Childs joined Ten’s Ged Rylands alongside (relatively) new guitarist Chris Green to complete the line-up for these sessions – are tight and solid, and the vibrancy they bring suggests that many of their parts may actually have been laid down live.
To quote the album’s third track, ‘Reach’ is an album that kicks like a mule… and at the same time it possesses a depth and richness which makes that initial impact all the more impressive and long lasting… circle the wagons, rockers, ‘cos Tyketto have produced possibly the best melodic rock album of this or any year…
Tyketto play the following dates:
Saturday 26 November – Newcastle, Cluny
Friday 2 December – Trecco Bay, Planet Rockstock