Cheap Trick Rockford

Life away from the major labels has been good to Cheap Trick. For those who watched the Illinois quartet’s career hit rock bottom as they topped the charts in the mid-’80s, it’s time to rediscover the band that turned thousands of proper Japanese girls into screaming maniacs and coined the phrase, "this is the first song off our new album.” Rediscover them because there was a time when this oddball collective wrote amazingly catchy and clever rock songs. Beneath all the gimmickry of checkerboard cardigans, nerdy glasses and dangling cigarettes, beats the heart of a truly original rock band. Rockford finds the band returning to their roots offering up a dozen songs that show the band have not forgotten how to rock and how it is that they inspired an entire generation of alt-rock stars from the Replacements and Guided By Voices to Pearl Jam. The disc is hard and hook-filled but it’s not without its soft side too, like the gorgeous Beatles-inspired "O Claire” on which Robin Zander laments the loss of the girl we all wish we could have. Cheap Trick is a rare breed of band — one whose sound is as fresh today as it was 30 years ago… maybe even more so. (429)