Back To The Rhythm

Great White

Bluesy American Hard Rock: GREAT WHITE. Nothing more to be said. Sink your teeth into […]
By Grigoris Chronis
July 4, 2007
Great White - Back To The Rhythm album cover

Bluesy American Hard Rock: GREAT WHITE. Nothing more to be said. Sink your teeth into Back To The Rhythm and if you don't dig it, then you never belonged to the specific sub-genre. Life is sooo simple, and GREAT WHITE music is the perfect companion. We missed you, guys. We surely did!
The 2003 Long Island tragic accident meant (by all means) the desertion of GREAT WHITE; so we all thought. And who would have the guts to carry on? Let's get reasonal. The Huntington Beach, California quintet did survive from lots of obstacles. Round-and-round lineup changes, Jack Russell departing to endure solo career...The ultimate 80s success should run up to the nearest 'history' self. You know, for a LED ZEPPELIN-influenced rockin' act like this one, the velvet vocals of Russell plus the 'pricey' guitar playing of Kendall would be surely missed. And now, on to 2007 and following a pre-stated '25th anniversary worldwide tour' press release that has not yet been fixed, it's Back To The Rhythm that creates the next G.W. emotional coma. So touching, indeed.
Nothing is sacred, except from the GREAT WHITE trademark (in this case). If you can overcome some itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie refreshment in the album's production - especially the 'new rock' (at times) guitars' sound - then it's the same ol' fuckin' feeling, proud & loud & bad to the bone. The Back To The Rhythm opener is the little brother of Call It Rock  'N' Roll while Here Goes My Head Again is already my beloved tune; mid-tempo with a great vocal harmony from Russell plus some terrific leads from Kendall. A real 'hit' back in the 80s, this tune would be...
Take Me Down means business; slow-paced but groovy as hell, while featuring a killer main riff (wah-wah rulez)! The perfect companion for your first set of beerz on your night out. And then it's Play On: whoever's 'bonded' to the slow tunes of GREAT WHITE, here is the first opus off the new album. An amazing song, far away from the average 'naive America' ballad type (as if G.W. ever had a slow-ie below average rating...). Before the heat is over, then comes the storm...the strom...the storm! Was It The Night will squeeze your heart out to soak all the emotion that's left inside. Battling over with Here Goes My Head Again already? And what a great Kendall-ish solo this one is? Have mercy (and move on...)
I'm Alive is a weird song; not that I did not enjoy it, but it left me kinda confused via its 'new rock' first part. Thankfully, Russell's voice alone can transform virtually anything into GREAT WHITE magic. And, yes, the pre-chorus bridge is a wonderful piece of choir-sung piece! Still Hungry, on the other hand, brings us back to the mid-tempo 'classic' stuff; a little bit of Southern breeze, including a tremendous 'lunar' intermezzo, while we're next off to Standing On The Edge, a song that sharpens things up a little bit, now sounding rather R.STONES-possessed.
How Far Is Heaven? Not far enough, as soon as the keys' intro rolls on through your speakers. The usual 'suspect', an acoustic guitar and Russell whispering out for a ...pouring rain.... The Angel Song's vibe drifts around and I wonder how the hell this supreme singer's throat carries on the same classy tradition. No, Jack, for heaven it's not a long way, if we have you nearby every now and then. Speeding things up again, Neighborhood sees a smooth on-the-road attitude from the band flirting with some American 'old' Rock tactics. A cute song overall...
30 Days In The Hole and Just Yesterday wrap up the album in a completely differentiated way. While the former (exclusive bonus track for the European edition) is a R.STONES-meets-G.FUNK homage floating around on your '3rd gear' restless highway ride, it is the latter that instantly becomes the praise itself for the survival of this great 80's Hard Rock band. With Russell's voice more Plant-ish than in any other B.T.T.R. track, Just Yesterday sees a tremendous acoustic guitar solo by Kendall, the way he only can perform in this tempo. Plus, the cut stands alone like a spark in the moonlit night for your purest sensation to burst out unceasingly. Waiting to read the lyrics in this one, too...
GREAT WHITE and (Lardie-produced) Back to The Rhythm...If it wasn't for the non-appealing cover artwork, the grade could as well step up furthermore to the horizon. This band honors its roots, its ideals and still has something to say; they felt the tragedy, they know. They, 80s 'hard' rocker.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Back To The Rhythm" Track-listing:

Back To The Rhythm
Here Goes My Head Again
Take Me Down
Play On
Was It The Night
I'm Alive
Still Hungry
Standin' On The Edge
How Far Is Heaven
30 Days In The Hole (European Bonus Track)
Just Yesterday

Great White Lineup:

Jack Russell - Vocals
Mark Kendall - Lead Guitars
Audie Desbrow - Drums
Michael Lardie - Guitars, Keyboards
Sean McNabb - Bass

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