Where does the time go?
Back in 1972, a friend turned me on to “Machine Head” from a British band with a cool name and a guitarist that would inspire me to eventually start a band.
With tracks like “Smoke on the Water,” “Space Truckin’” and “Highway Star,” it seemed like every cool kid in my school owned a copy of “Machine Head” in one form or another. Its influence would lead me to follow other bands with similar styles like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Rainbow.
Forty-eight years later, the rock icons keep the music fresh with the release of a vigorous 13-track set that features original drummer Ian Paice, longtime members Ian Gillan on lead vocals and bassist Roger Glover with assistance from keyboardist Don Airey and guitarist Steve Morse continuing the band’s tradition of delivering substantial rock arrangements containing weighty doses of blues and small traces of progressive rock.
“Whoosh!” is Deep Purple’s 21st album and the third consecutive studio release with Bob Ezrin masterfully handling the duties at the producer’s table and getting the most out of the band once again with performances that embrace early Deep Purple efforts.
“You can't escape tomorrow, it's another day/I'm hanging here, I'm here on solid ground,” sings Gillan on the opening number as if to prove the band’s ability to stand the test of time.
“Drop the Weapon” is a call for cooler heads to prevail during these uneasy times as Gillan’s soulful vocals and Airey’s soaring keyboards provide the timely track with a vintage Deep Purple vibe.
“Nothing at All” is a rock ballad that addresses the uncertainty of the future with fond memories of the past and simpler times when love was innocent and charming as Gillan sings, “When I hear about the doom and gloom/That’s around the corner and coming soon/I take a sip of mother's ruin/And sit with my back to the wall.”
Rousing rockers “No Need to Shout” and “The Long Way Round” serve as a high-octane joyride demonstrating that the boys can still stir things up with plenty of gusto.
“Dancing in My Sleep” closes things on a positive note with Gillan declaring, “I get the feeling everything will be alright.” And somehow I believe him.
No matter how fast the years roll by, “Whoosh!” proves that Deep Purple’s sound will never go out of style.
Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.