YES IT CAME OUT ON FRIDAY, and I got the digital download then, but I couldn’t really listen to the new Cheap Trick album, BANG ZOOM CRAZY HELLO until the CD arrived and I could crank it in the car. It finally came yesterday (thanks for being late Pledge Music).


I really needed to crank this loud, too. Since high school, Cheap Trick has been the soundtrack to most of my life, making the great things greater, and enhancing my mood through the bad shit. To paraphrase the late Sir George Martin, as founding member Rick Nielsen quotes in the liner notes, “I’m wishing to live longer, aided by the supreme healing force of music. It definitely overcomes all weakening aspects of the body. I have felt quite lost and distraught, without those wonderful vinyl productions.”* Their music has always been there for me.

So before this gets too maudlin, BANG ZOOM CRAZY HELLO is amazing (the actual album title? Not so much). I’m prone to going overboard without a life raft for this band (really?) but I’ve always been able to listen objectively and say which songs are “meh”, and every album of theirs has a couple of those. Except BZCH. It jumps out and grabs you from the very first song. And it really does sound great. I can’t say that their 17th (!) album is their best, but I defy anyone to name another veteran act that delivered something this good, so late in their career. And by my count, this is the fifth time they’ve done just that. I’ve got to do a full review soon.

*Originally heard in the bridge section in 1980’s bizarro “High Priest of Rhythmic Noise” on the Cheap Trick album All Shook Up.

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