Cheap Trick – Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello (Review)

Cheap Trick – Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello (2016 Japanese Edition w/ 2 Bonus Tracks)

The acrimonious split with original drummer Bun E. Carlos in 2010 was a disappointingly sour turn of events in the 27-year saga of Cheap Trick. But on 2016’s Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello, their first release without him, his absence isn’t felt too keenly. The album rocks and pops with a warm, vintage sound and Robin Zander’s wonderful voice seems impervious to the passage of time. But the chemistry is undeniably altered. Their old biting quirkiness is missing and this is fairly slick stuff, like a souped-up version of the poppier Lap Of Luxury/Busted era, with by-the-numbers lyrics and happy strumming in place of decent riffs. That said, it’s a fun album with a perky spirit and, although the ideas gradually dry up as the album progresses, there are a few songs that fans will enjoy: driving opener Heart On The Line, the sparkling No Direction Home, glammy stomper Blood Red Lips and jangly ballad Sing My Blues Away. But the album’s saving grace, and the song that keeps me coming back for more, is the ghostly When I Wake Up Tomorrow. Overall, it’s not destined to go down in history as a classic, but its definitely one of their more enjoyable modern releases. And the band do sound like they’re having a good time. They don’t seem to miss Bun E., and this is solid enough that you probably won’t either. But he must have been the guy coming up with the album titles because Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello?

29 thoughts on “Cheap Trick – Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello (Review)”

  1. I never went this far modern with CT – although there was a great track I got from a coverdisk called ‘Sick Man Of Europe’ that I think was excellent.

    God bless Bun E, he never gets the credit for inventing Jay Z’s name that he should.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The four albums fromRockford forward tend to run together for me. I haven’t quite listened enough to truly distinguish, but I find a lot to like through the whole latter period. Your comment on Robin’s voice is spot on; it is amazing how good he sounds. I especially enjoy what I hear as a bit more low end in his croon now, but without any seeming loss up top.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah there’s production differences but not much variation song wise. You’re always going to get a good 3-4 decent tunes on each album even if the albums as a whole are a bit patchy. But as far as bands of their vintage goes, I don’t think there are are any that have maintained their classic style/sound as well as Cheap Trick? Robin’s voice is a huge part of that too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t heard this one. I’ve only heard a few of the more recent efforts… the last one was pretty good, I though. The other I heard not so much.

    I know we spoke about this recently, but I mostly listen to Dream Police when I’m in a Cheap Trick mood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have not been too curious about latter-day Cheap Trick. I heard many mixed reviews for Woke Up With a Monster and the self-titled one. I guess I kind of tuned out?

    And of course, although the title of this album doesn’t entice me in any way, your Japanese hi-res import CD does.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I conquer. I enjoy them both. Woke Up with a Monster is a bit inconsistent. Some great stuff, some mediocre, some crap. I’d give it 3/5, which is still way better than anything they did in the mid ’80s up to that point.
        I like the 1997 S/T straight through though. That’s a great album. Very mature for them. It may be a bit too ’90s dark in places, but at least they didn’t go industrial or anything like that. They stripped away all the bad ’80s production and cheesiness and took a garage rock influence on some tracks, but always with a big emphasis on the melodies. It’s definitely the best record they’ve made outside of their heyday from the 1977 S/T to Dream Police.

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      2. Spot on Holen! Glad you like that stuff too. I’m gonna slightly disagree by including All Shook Up and One On One into the heyday period though. But the 1997 is definitely the high point of their career since then.

        I find that Woke gets quite ropey towards the end but most their modern albums do too so no change there! For the first 6 or so songs, it’s brill!

        What do you think of this one?


      3. Clarification, I actually do like All Shook Up and One on One, but I wouldn’t say they stack up to the ones that came out before.

        Cheap Trick 1997 is the last one I’ve heard from them actually, so when I say it’s the best since their heyday, I really only have the authority to compare it to the ones that came before. I really need to check their new stuff out.

        Funny observations. “Ride the Pony” from Woke Up with a Monster totally sounds like “Wild Child” by W.A.S.P., and “Say Goodbye” from ’97 sounds like the title track off of Countdown to Extinction.

        I liked “Girlfriends” from the second half of Woke a lot, and “Let Her Go” was pretty good too. Keep wanting to abbreviate this album as Monster, but R.E.M. put out an album by that name the same year. I guess people were into monsters that year?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Must have been!

        Yes I know what you mean about ASU and ONO. I just have a real soft spot for both of those so i include those in the “classic era”. I’d still take those over anything since.

        If 1997 is the last you heard then you’re not missing too much. There are lots of good songs you’re missing but I don’t think I could fully recommend any album. They’re all a bit like Woke… some brilliant stuff and some shite stuff.


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