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Album Review: Extreme – Six


Well the title is pretty obvious, its Extreme’s 6th album. Its funny that they have only released Six albums in their almost 40 year career, but maybe its because the band have never been about putting out an album for the sake of it.
Each release is a journey within itself. The band take the time to write timeless songs and while they achieved mainstream success with acoustic tracks, their album sales and concert ticket sales show why they are way more than a
singles band.

March 1st saw the first single “Rise” released “Musically, it’s aggressive”, says Cherone about the album opener. “Lyrically, it’s a cautionary tale on the rise and fall of fame. You get seduced into it. Once you’re on top, they’ll rip you
apart and tear you down. That’s the nature of the beast”
Nuno takes his guitar playing into out of this world levels, and the solo is just ridiculously nuts. I will admit I wondered if he could possibly pull it off live and the recent footage
from this years Monsters Of Rock Cruise shows he not only can play it live but made it look easy

April 19th saw the one two punch of “#Rebel” and “Banshee”. “#Rebel” delivers a massive middle finger to the gutless keyboard warriors of the world, which is way too prevalent in the world we live in.

“Banshee” is just a foot stomping
fucking barnstormer. Ready made for the stage its a punch in the face wrapped up in a killer groove and sweet harmonies to make you second guess the ass kicking you are getting.

“The Other Side Of The Rainbow” – a song about taking a chance on love classic pop rock stylings, with an almost 70s vibes amazing harmonies and melody lines, a ready for radio, accessible to many formats of the long forgotten
media of AM/FM Radio

“Small Town Beautiful” – acoustic flavored, telling the story of remembering no matter where you go and what you do, what is on the inside will count, and if you want to find your way home you only need to look inside and you
will get to your destination

“The Mask” a cool almost spoken word intro which gives of a vibe of Manson’s The Beautiful People but is also a companion piece to “#Rebel”, with Cherone and Bettencourt not only trading vocals almost daring those hiding to show
who they really are, and with lyrics like “I’ll Take The Blame For All My Sins, But I Won’t Take The Hate For What You’ve Imagined”, shows how the band feel about those hiding behind the anonymity of a screen name.

“Thicker Than Blood” with its synth bass from Pat Badger running under syncopated almost rap like verses, into blistering rock verses and choruses, gives me that “Queen On Steroids” vibe. Once again Nuno shines on his leads, the man
is one of the most brilliant guitarists of all time, his solos are songs within the song

“Save Me” is a real showcase for Extreme’s vocal abilities, not just with the acapella intro but the vocal scat melodies throughout, but don’t let this one fool you, the riffage is dirty and gritty and the rhythm section of Kevin Figueiredo
and Pat Badger are just as an important connection as the one of Bettencourt and Cherone is, as anyone who has seen Extreme live knows, Pat Badger is the bands secret weapon vocally. The song sees Cherone asking for somewhat a cleansing
maybe its a cleansing we all need to remember who we really are. Nuno once again just slays the solo, just magic.

“Hurricane” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, with Nuno and Gary splitting the vocals as well as dual harmonizing over a gorgeous acoustic guitar riff. This is a gorgeous piece of music that really puts the bands talents
on display, I would love to see this one live on the bands upcoming Australian tour.

Another Synth Bass vibe kicks off “XOut” and gets into that funk rock vibe we know Extreme does so well, but the hidden gems are the little pre chorus into chorus that will take you by surprise, with its almost dance/pop vibes, before it
rips back into the funky vibes

“Beautiful Girls” then gets into a Reggae meet Beach Boys trip. Its the Kokomo for 2023. This one might take the fire of the die hards, but this for me is why Extreme makes albums and not singles. You never know what journey the next song will
take you on and thats what I look forward to the most in albums. They should never be paint by numbers, they should be a blank canvas to be coloured and textured as the artist wants. Oh, don’t worry, Nuno still shreds the solo.

The album finishes off with the track “Here’s To The Losers” that epic building song that should close every album, and like a lot of the songs on the album delivers a message about being comfortable in your own skin, and being happy with who you are

This is the bands first album since 2008’s Saudades de Rock and is honestly worth the wait. The album serves as a steam roller, but yet the moments of tenderness throughout the album, show the complexities of the music and
the care the band took into making all of the songs. You can pick out why the band were such huge fans of Queen and Van Halen, but at no point does the band rip them off. Nuno mentioned this album is a homage to Van Halen
and him feeling “Some responsibility to keep guitar playing alive”, which makes me pose the question, how about they add “Without You” from the Cherone fronted version of Van Halen to
their live set, as its most “Extreme-Esque”. The album tips the hat at the influence but that is where it ends, the band are unabashedly 100% Extreme, and while they may not be Extreme in the metal sense they sure are
Extreme in the emotional journey sense

We live in a world where we can now be judged based on a snapshot, a soundbite, a tweet or comment. And with artists and performers they seem to always be in the firing line, always unfairly. They take chances to put their hearts on their
sleeves and share it with the world. Extreme have put the last 15 years of life, love and more into Six, and have produced an album with no filler. Not once ounce of it. The 15 year wait was worth it. It’s Extremely Brilliant



First Australian tour in 5 years to celebrate the release of their new album “Six”, and bringing their friends LIVING COLOUR to join them as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Stain”



Wednesday 6th September – Regal Theatre, Perth Tickets through Ticketek
Friday 8th September – Hindley Street, Adelaide Tickets through Moshtix
Sunday 10th September – The Forum, Melbourne Tickets through Ticketek
Tuesday 12th September – Enmore Theatre, Sydney Tickets through Ticketek
Wednesday 13th September – Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane Tickets through Ticketmaster

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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