Friday, April 08, 2016


This mighty slab of mid-70s Aerosmith turns 41 today. Young, high and on a creative roll with their third (and best) album, no less than three tunes from this set remain on classic rock radio playlists. These sessions caught the band in an incredibly inspired mood. Opening with the scorching title track, there is an excellent balance struck between aggression and space in the most exciting three minutes that they ever laid down. Tom Hamilton's bass figures almost serve as a lead passage in the break, the drums are given a chance to breathe in the verses and the guitars cut like a dentist's drill. Steven Tyler nails every syllable.

Steering the proceedings toward an auditory version of a breather with "Uncle Salty", there is a definite, trippy late sixties feel achieved with great care taken to accentuate the chiming rhythm guitars. Topped with a jazzy drum pattern and oddly Beatle-like arrangement, it is one of their most underrated tunes. Back in high school, I swapped Def Leppard's High 'n' Dry cassette for this one and listened to it incessantly. Hands down, it's still my favourite Aerosmith track.

It's always a sunny day outside my window...

Boasting riffs that would make their authors cartoonishly rich, "Walk This Way" and "Sweet Emotion" ensured the immortality of this release, though the rest more than hold their own. Lots of tasty guitar interplay from Perry and Whitford makes "Adam's Apple" stand out (great lyrics, too) and "No More No More" is straight up rock and roll. There is even an unsolicited, two minute dick joke for collectors of 78s. What more can you ask for?

Enough stylistic variation is present to keep things interesting, yet it doesn't fly out of control. Definite cigar for Jack Douglas as the production is first rate. There is an adventurous aspect here that they wouldn't ever come close to approaching again.

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