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  EXTREME
'Extreme II: Pornograffitti (A Funked Up Fairy Tale)'
(Universal)
Release Date: March 20th 2015


Joe Geesin

joe geesin


extreme

US classic/funk Metal band Extreme found fame, and charts, around the world with this their second album. The band's anthems, 'More Than Words' and 'Get The Funk Out' are here and, like this album, have pretty much overshadowed the rest of their career.

Originally released in August 1990 on A&M, the album quickly went gold and would go double platinum. To celebrate the 25th anniversary, it's given the full works here, with a full second disc of bonus tracks.

Extreme were formed in 1985 in Massachusetts, USA by singer Gary Cherone and drummer Paul Geary who were soon joined by guitarist Nuno Bettencourt and bassist Pat Badger. They soon started writing their own material and gigging in the Boston area, building up a fair following. This led to them being signed by A&M and the release of their 1989 eponymous debut, which featured a couple of singles and the track 'Play With Me' which was used in the Mall scene in Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure.

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The band had obvious influences from Aerosmith, Van Halen and Queen and it wasn't until this album (often just referred to as 'Pornograffitti') that their own style shone through.

With producer Michael Wagener (Dokken, White Lion) on board, the album is hard rock with pop, funk and glam influences and showcases strong vocals and some blistering guitar.

Opener 'Decadence Dance' (also a single) features a piano intro and a building atmospheric effect before some screaming guitar comes in. It's a catchy rhythm, a nod to Crue-esque party Metal.

'Li'l Jack Horny' has a heavy chunky riff and some vocal harmonies, a sound bolstered by the use of horns and a flashy guitar solo., then there's the rapped vocal intro to 'When I'm President', a more hard funky number.

'Get The Funk Out' was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, a punchy track that most will know (or at least at the chorus of). A distinctive bass line and the word funk both alluding to the song's style and replacing what the title really means. Again some brass and excellent guitar work in both the main riff and quite a blistering solo three minutes in. This song actually features co-vocals from the legendary Pat Travers.

The acoustic 'More Than Words' is definitely one of the band's best known songs; quite a gentle track by their standards and much of the vocals are Cherone and Bettencourt in tandem.

'Money (In God We Trust)' and 'It('s A Monster)' are heavier, crunchier tracks with rough funk edges and both have a very listenable commercial feel while the title track is a stand out track, one of the less commercial tracks. The guitar and bass work again are worth checking out.

The thirteen track album also features the acoustic 'Hole Hearted' (another single) and 'When I First Kissed You' (quite a retro almost ballad jazzy feel here), and the excellent 'Suzi' (a bonus track on the original CD).

While there are some commercial edges, the album is overall much better (and stronger) than the over MTV'd singles of the time.

The band continued to record, split and reform and Cherone would briefly front Van Halen, but this is probably their defining moment.

Nicely packaged, this album comes with a booklet and a second disc full of remixes, singles and b-sides, pretty much complete. Definitely one for fans, but probably a bit too much here if you just want the basic album.


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