Extreme, Six Review
Extreme, Six Review
Returning to the scene after a 15-year hiatus, Boston’s EXTREME is making their much-awaited comeback with their sixth studio album aptly titled SIX. The album offers listeners a dynamic journey from edgy hard rock numbers to heartfelt ballads, each song serving as a testament to the band’s relentless spirit and innovative creativity.
Opening with the lead single “RISE,” SIX propels listeners into a maelstrom of rock fury tempered by insightful social commentary. Gary Cherone’s vocal grit is complemented by the visceral guitar riffs of Nuno Bettencourt, who cleverly employs his impressive guitar skills to build the track’s tension and resolve.
The energy continues unabated with “#REBEL,” a song of defiance encapsulating the band’s unyielding will. Bettencourt’s clever fretwork, accompanied by Cherone’s soaring vocals, is underscored by the outstanding rhythm section of Pat Badger’s bass and Kevin Figueiredo’s drums. Undoubtedly, “#REBEL” stands as the album’s high point.
Further into the album, tracks like “BANSHEE” and “SMALL TOWN BEAUTIFUL” showcase the band’s ability to merge heavy rock with soulful lyricism. Similarly, the introspective “OTHER SIDE OF THE RAINBOW” offers listeners a softer side of EXTREME, with Cherone’s tender vocals and Bettencourt’s stirring acoustic guitar adding depth to the album’s overall sound.
Where SIX hits occasional speed bumps in its experimental tracks, such as “THE MASK” and “THICKER THAN BLOOD.” While adding variety, these songs sometimes detract from the album’s overall cohesiveness. Their explorations into electronic elements on “THICKER THAN BLOOD” and “X OUT” might not resonate with all listeners.
“HURRICANE,” a moving acoustic ballad, is a serene eye in the album’s storm, showcasing the legendary vocal duet of Cherone and Bettencourt. The calm is soon shattered by “X OUT” and “BEAUTIFUL GIRLS,” a triumphant return to high-octane rock vibes juxtaposed with pop-infused melodies and signature vocal harmonies.
As with any epic journey, a grand finale is required, and “HERE’S TO THE LOSERS” provides the perfect climactic conclusion to the album. It’s a fitting salute to those daring to stand apart from the crowd, a tribute to individuality in the spirit of true rock and roll.
SIX may indeed be a triptych of rock, ballad, and experimental influences, but what holds it together is EXTREME’s unwavering commitment to creating a diverse, dynamic soundscape that spans the full spectrum of their musical capabilities. While it may be an eclectic offering, the album’s strengths are its creative risk-taking and the band’s undeniable musical skills as songwriters, singers, and performers. The album radiates the spirit of a band that remains true to their rock roots while also exploring the other side of the rainbow.
SIX is a surprising album showing the evolution of EXTREME’s undying musical vitality and their unique ability to transcend genre boundaries.
June 9, 2023