Rocks (1976)

1.Back in the Saddle
2.Last Child
3.Rats in the Cellar
5.Sick as a Dog
6.Nobody's Fault
7.Get the Lead Out
8.Lick and a Promise
9.Home Tonight


Some would argue this is their best piece of work ever. It would be hard for me to disagree. They take the same formula that they perfected on Toys in the Attic and replicated it almost idenitcally, making a few small improvements. Ironically, there may not be any songs on here that a latter day fan might recognize. Only the opener Back in the Saddle remains a concert staple, and it's probably intentional that it leads off the album with its lyrical intention that these guys are indeed "back" to rock your world one more time.

Last Child appears on various "greatest hits" compilations, and it is probably the strongest track here, with it's pulsating swagger that is unmistakenly the band's trademark. Some of the songs focus more on hardness than in melody such as the third and fourth song Rats in the Cellar and Combination. Whether it was intended or not, the former track seems to be an ideal tongue-in-cheek counterpart to the song (or whole album) Toys in the Attic. Both of these tracks rock hard, very hard, and in no way are either of these songs a disappointment.

The most underrated song is definitely the side 2 opener Nobody's Fault with its harsh apocyliptical siren sounding chours of Steven Tyler's perpetual wail. Everyone who considers themselves a fan needs this album for this one song alone - Joe Perry is pretty darned impressive yielding the axe with a couple of killer solos as well.

The rest of the album is complete with classic tracks that are perfectly represented by what this band does so well. Of course, the closer Home Tonight is what some would call a ballad. Actually, it's not really a ballad, just a song that's slowed down somewhat (again,copying the last release). It's actually a great "the album's now over - so it's time to say goodnight" song. Again, this is another song that should be resurrected at current shows to show off what this band could do more than 30 years ago. To sum it up, it's great to see how something from the mid 1970's can sound so fresh and powerful many years later.

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