Earmusic, 2023

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


Yes, it’s THAT Extreme.

Long ago and far away (also known as 1990), there was an album called Pornograffiti. While parts of it sucked, there were two huge hits—“More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted”—and one pretty damned good song—“Get The Funk Out”—on it. They had a miracle-slinging maestro for a guitarist and a pretty decent lead singer. It looked like Extreme was going places.

Then, of course, the fickle finger of fate frottered their femurs. A brilliant follow-up, Three Sides To Every Story, died an undeserved death, and their fourth CD, Waiting For The Punchline, proved to be their downfall. The guitarist, Nuno Bettencourt, went on to be a guitarist’s guitarist, playing with everyone from Perry Farrell to Janet Jackson to Rihanna. Gary Cherone was rumored to be the lead singer of Van Halen (briefly), but of course Van Halen fans justifiably deny that album exists. (I get it; I refuse to admit that Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition and any sequels to my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Highlander exist.)

Later—much later—the band came together in 2008 to record an album that almost no one heard (Saudades De Rock). That seemed to be the end.

Never say never, O Ye DV Faithful.

Extreme is back, and dare I say it? Extreme is good again; maybe great. On their latest release, Six, they have their edge and swagger back. And, of course, they have Nuno Bettencourt. A lot of the punch on Six comes from him; there are some wicked guitar riffs on this CD.

The CD starts off with the churning, pounding “Rise,” and it’s a very fine place to start. It’s one of those songs that should have your fist pumping the air and your heart beating faster. The frenetic pace doesn’t let up through “#Rebel” and “Banshee” (which is one of those songs about the relationships we know are bad ideas, but we go ahead anyway). “Other Side Of The Rainbow” is a lovely ballad that still has some edge to it. The twin introspections “The Mask” and “Save Me” show a deeper, more thoughtful side; these guys aren’t twenty-somethings anymore, and it shows.

The fact is the only place that Six slips is when they try to recapture their ballad chops. Neither “Small Town Beautiful” or “Hurricane” grab me; they’re not bad, they’re just not very memorable. Another ballad, “Beautiful Girls,” is the biggest miscue on the CD; Extreme should not attempt to do reggaeton.

The closing ballad, however, works beautifully. “Here’s To The Losers” is brimming with pathos (in a good way). And to be honest, this CD is worth the price of admission just for the Bettencourt solos. The dude is a demon.

All in all, it’s good to have Extreme back.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2023 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Earmusic, and is used for informational purposes only.