It looks like 2016 will be a good one for Cheap Trick. After a decade of being eligible, the band will finally be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, on April 8th. For most bands the induction means two things; that the industry and its peers recognizes their legacy and that their most productive years are behind them.
But Cheap Trick isn’t your typical band, so it only seems fitting that they would release their 17th studio album, Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello (BZCH), a week before the inauguration. I see this as proof that even after four decades in the music business, Cheap Trick still has some fire left in them and this induction is not signalling the end of a golden era.
BZCH marks their début record for Big Maine Records and the band’s first studio recording without founding member, drummer Bun E. Carlos who has been replaced by guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son Daxx. The album’s 11, generally straight shooting rocker tracks, are sure to please most Cheap Trick or any rock fans in general.
Cheap Trick’s latest release is an entertaining listen and any one of the 11 tracks would seamlessly fit in the band’s set list on their current tour. The album sounds great and the band sounds as unified as ever. The only minor quibbles I have, is that their trademark; wicked sense of humour and Beatlesque take of their music, has been pushed to the side. Whether that is the fault of co-writer and album producer Julian Raymond, or simply because of Carlos’s absence, remains to be seen.
All in all BZCH is still a very good rock album and any band would love to put out this kind of quality product. I just wish it had a little more personality.