Purple Pyramid Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
Often unsung Canadian guitar legend Pat Travers returns with a new studio album, Retro Rocket. As for some history of Pat Travers and my listening experience you can read my review of 2013's Can Do. Basically, his career reached a high point by 1980, and only recently, the last 15 years or so, has Travers had a resurgence. He's still slugs it out with constant touring.
Don't let the title of this album put you off, as it almost did for me. Retro is descriptive, but not the best word to describe this album. It implies that what's within is old and dated. That's far from the case. Pat Travers and collaborators create and play classic melodic hard rock with blues, boogie, and groove. Something that never becomes old or dated. It's fundamental.
And Retro Rocket is a rip snortin' guitar driven missile of rock n roll. The riffs are large and plentiful, the leads abundant and soaring. Underneath, you feel the steady groove of bass and drums propelling Travers and guest guitarists along. Actually, the production is splendid and clear; you can really catch the bass line, even behind the guitar on every song. And the songs are largely solid and entertaining, although I found I Am Alive and I Wanna Be Free a little too laid back, not as lively as the preceding. There's a live track, Looking Up, from the 1996 album of the same name. However, I'm not sure if the recording dates from the same time. The bonus track is an electric blues version of Lead Me Home from the immensely popular American television series The Walking Dead. Yeah, I didn't know they had a song either, and I watch the show. Must have missed that.
Travers' Retro Rocket is a rip snortin' guitar driven missile of classic melodic hard rock infused with blues, boogie and groove.
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