Label: 2021 Purple Pyramid Records / Cleopatra Records
It’s like old-time classic rock, progressive rock, the ‘60s, and the blues all got together and came up with Tightrope. The album has the perfect blend of contemporary progressive and classic rock sound with a blast from the past. Carmine Appice has now rejoined in attempts to “re-energize the band”. The band has had quite the rollercoaster from the 1970s to now. Truth be told I had never recognized them in my father’s record collection, but, after listening to this record I’m sad that its taken me this long to discover them.
From booming successful beginnings to the death of their original frontman Rusty Day in 1982, to having a revolving door of sorts of members due to varying individual reasons. That is until once again, the band began to see a rebirth of their notoriety and success in 2006. Only, this time Appice is the main driver behind the band’s reformation and a rocket towards hits on the charts once more.
Tightrope’s title track begins the entire record with a crash of the drum that fuels the record and has just enough thrill in the song to come away at the same time as a mellow rock introduction. Then we get into their version of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” Now, I may be a bit biased because this is already my favorite song of all time. However, the way they’ve re-done the hit song is completely badass and incorporates an even stronger blues element, fused with rock n’ roll power throughout.
“All Shook Up” follows suit in a foot-stomping good time with an extensive guitar and drum combination solo that marries together the thrashing feeling of the message of the song is “all shook up” while also pumping an adrenaline rush into the track. Then, slowing down with “Poison in Paradise,” the torn-up emotional blues song, causes the singer an internal struggle of what had just transpired in his personal life. “Third Time Gone” is a fun write-off-themed song, showing how the third time is not always the charm.
“Shake That Thing” offers a slowed-down break from the peddle-to-the-metal, headstrong rock show so far. It is quite possibly the most blues-driven track on the album. Afterward, “Primitive Touch” rushes back into a frenzy of high-fueled guitar and harmonica blends. All he wants here is just one thing, of which he can’t escape until he gets what he desires.
We reach “Preaching Woman Man Blues” which expels obvious worldly truth in the beginning, “you’ve got to put in your time, you’ve got to pay your dues.” And then, soon the song progresses to much of an instrumental piece with its heavily guitar-laden work to deviate from the rest of the album. “Elevation” gives off a Led Zeppelin vibe that makes it the highlight track of the entire record. “Suite 1 & 2: Everlong, All the Madmen” is a hauntingly, captivating song that sets the listener halfway in a trance then sings of an aftermath of sorts.
As we round out Tightrope, “Headed for a Fall” finds itself reviving some pop-rock energy that is just pure power and excitement. “Wear It Out” is a great song to come to a middle-of-the-road point. The song isn’t overdone or extremely heavy in its rock roots and yet, it maintains enough composure of energy to wind out the album and leave the listener wanting more.
Gregg Keniston - MuzikMan.net Staff
March 24, 2021
02. Papa Was a Rolling Stone
03. All Shook Up
04. Poison in Paradise
05. Third Time Gone
06. Shake That Thing
07. Primitive Touch
08. Preaching Woman Blues
10. Suite 1 & 2: Everlong, All the Madmen
11. Headed for a Fall
12. Wear it Out