Cheap Trick “We’re All Alright!”
Cheap Trick is considered one of the longest running power pop bands ever but they have decided to let loose with more of hard rock and roll album than anything in their storied past. Like last year’s Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello the band’s direction is less melodic and runs more on manic energy. Ever since Daxx Nielsen replaced Bun E. Carlos as the band’s drummer – he’s seemly given the entire band a shot of youth serum.
Starting with the guitarist Rick Nielsen’s monster riffs of opener “You Got It Going On,” it’s a sing out loud anthem that rocks the socks off bands half their age. And it doesn’t let up as “Long Time Coming,” and “Nowhere” keep the energy level high. “Radio Lover” is a shelved single from the late ’90s that also fits right in here. Robin Zander takes a glammy turn on “Lolita” and his vocals are ageless too. More consistent and less studio gloss than Bang, Zoom… the band sounds like it’s having fun again. No duds here either, and so get the deluxe edition with extra tracks. On these, the band takes The Move’s “Blackberry Way” and makes it their own, plus a brilliant power ballad finisher “If You Still Want My Love.” Highly Recommended.
Screamfeeder “Pop Guilt”
Heavy indie pop band Screamfeeder was born in the ‘90s and became one of Australia’s most-loved bands, its youthful fuzz riffs tempered by catchy melodies. For over 20 years the band has made the transition to adulthood seamlessly. Like other veteran bands of the era (Redd Kross, The Figgs) they have improved with age and Pop Guilt evokes that early punk spirit with high energy riffs and explosive drumming.
Starting with the guitar buzz of “Half Lies” is a great start, “All Over Again” combines leads guitarist Tim Steward and bassist/vocalist Kellie Lloyd very much in the mold of Hüsker Dü with a droning rhythm under each melody. Highlights include “Got A Feeling,” “Alone In A Crowd” and “Karen Trust Me.” Not everything sticks and the band admits this lyrically on the generic sounding “Making It Up,” the lack of variety on some tunes allow them to sonically blend into each other. However, we end with the defiant “I’m Fighting” and overall fans of ’90s alt. pop punk will enjoy this.