Album Review: Cheap Trick – “We’re All Alright!”
I’m sure there must be some kind of sorcery going on here. Because there is no way that a band like Cheap Trick, now in their fifth decade of existence, should rightfully still be making albums as good as this. Just one year on from their last effort, the storming Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello?, the group are clearly keen on making hay while the sun shines, and if they keep on bashing out great albums at this rate they could be on a serious purple patch here.
We’re All Alright! has just that right blend of swaggering riffs, cocky attitude and earworm tunes to make a near-perfect mix. A difficult trick to pull off but hey, like we said earlier, Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen have been at this game long enough to know exactly how to master it. You Got It Going On and Long Time Coming are exactly the sort of fun summery slices of glammed up rock that Van Halen made their own in the early ’80s, and with DLR, Eddie and Alex seemingly in (hopefully temporary) hibernation at the moment, it’s good to hear this kind of music again. However, when they follow it with the scuzzy garage rock of Nowhere, it’s clear that Cheap Trick certainly aren’t gonna be sitting on their laurels and phoning in a dozen or so rewrites of Surrender or I Want You To Want Me here.
That’s one of the main selling points of this album to be honest, it’s an incredibly varied beast. Brand New Name On An Old Tattoo has the sort of sleazy twisting riff and hard edge to it that Aerosmith used to do so well, and the fact that they follow it with the dreamy psychedelia of Floating Down and the title track before cutting loose with the full-on AC/DC style rocker that is Listen To Me shows that this is a band on top form and confidence doing what they do best. They even turn their hand to a fun cover of Wizzard’s Blackberry Way before shutting things down all too soon at the 45 minute mark with the Beatlesy big anthem of If You Still Want My Love. Yup, make no mistake, you can safely file this one in with the other classic Cheap Trick albums.
It's to Cheap Trick's immense credit that they've now come out with two albums in under 18 months which can happily stand shoulder to shoulder with their mid to late 70s golden years. We're All Alright! is a skyscraping rollercoaster ride through what feels like all the best bits of 70s and 80s glam rock, and is definitely one of the best albums I've heard in recent months. Long may they reign.