“Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello” is Cheap Trick’s 17th studio album. The album was released this month by Big Machine Records. Recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cheap Trick’s place in music history is undeniable. “Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello” has a classic Cheap Trick sound even though it’s the first album in the band’s history not to feature drummer Bun E. Carlos. Although he remains an official member of the band, his recording and touring position has been filled by Daxx Nielsen (guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son).
“No Direction Home” and “Do You Believe Me?” took me back to the days when I first fell in love with this band. The classic guitar tone and heavy hooks of Rick Nielsen and the band’s smooth vocal harmonies are instantly identifiable. Robin Zander’s voice is still going strong and Tom Petersson anchors the harmonic framework of the band. Daxx pays tribute to Carlos by not deviating from the rhythmic drum beats of his predecessor.
“Blood Red Lips” has a 1980s glam charm to it. It strays a bit from the band’s power pop norm but it works well. A cover of Dobie Gray’s 1960s soul hit “The In Crowd” also fits right in. Rick Nielsen’s guitar riffs make the song sound like a Cheap Trick original, complete with a synth overdub harkening back to my old favorite “Surrender.” “All Strung Out” is the final song on the CD and gives nods to Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. If you’re a Cheap Trick fan, you simply have to add this to your collection.