Danny Vaughn and Michael Clayton are grasping, not merely holding on, as if time is against them and TYKETTO albums are threatened with endangerment. After the melodic rock act's 2008 reformation, Jimi Kennedy and Brooke St. James soon left their brothers with replacements Chris Childs and Chris Green assuming their spots. Following 2012's "Dig in Deep", the new TYKETTO follows the latter album's preamble on its 2016 outing, "Reach". Decidedly throwback and nurtured within the gleaming sanctuary of a vintage hairball harbor, TYKETTO goes for broke to engineer a very entertaining album with the band's polished new recruits. A few glaring throwaway moments could've undone "Reach", but there's so much TYKETTO gets right to shy away from it.
The opening thirty-plus seconds of the title track will have TYKETTO fans and Eighties rock diehards springing into the air from their listening stations with the seeming promise of classic thunder rock. What they get from "Reach" is a quickly settled power pop number with soft-dealt (a bit too soft, to be honest) choruses and Ged Rylands's starchy keys. "Big Money" at least kicks up the volume and the tempo with a strutting nod back to the spirit of capitalism from the Eighties and, thematically, the days when major funding went into albums that sound as huge as this one. The biggest compliment to pay TYKETTO is that the album's production is as massive as the "Don't Come Easy" days, representative of the last threshold of rock's major bankrolling. Accordingly, a huge swagger is shoved into "Big Money"'s (and later, "Sparks Will Fly"'s) cocky choruses.
"Kick Like a Mule" does more than that as one of the strongest cuts on the album. Chris Childs's whumping bass lines are a snug match for Michael Clayton's diligent slamming — even if this energy is quashed by a "Circle the Wagons", flouncing pop number. The track is stacked high with Danny Vaughn's tugging vocals and Ged Rylands's key swoons, along with some savory guitar solos. Vaughn's confidence is what sells the so-so "Circle the Wagons” ". Possessing a trouper's poise, he shoves even harder into the mid-tempo prowler "I Need It Now". Kudos to Vaughn for having the humility to deliver lyrics such as: "I jumped the shark and missed the gravy train,” into "I Need It Now", a sage reminiscence. The same applies to Vaughn's wistful reflections on the ballad, "Scream".
"Tearing Down the Sky" is one of the homiest numbers on the album. If you're a TYKETTO fan — or DOKKEN, for that matter — from way back when, the familiar airs of bass-driven, melodious rock give the song an old-school loft, one you had to have been there to fully appreciate. Ditto for the beautiful acoustic spirals expertly sprinkled and harmonized throughout the ballad "Letting Go".
If today's generation soaking up The CW's television series "The Flash" had an inkling of who TYKETTO is (much less a capacity to take way-back hard rock seriously), "The Fastest Man Alive" might have a shot as a gimmick single. Unfortunately, this is for the generation who watched Barry Allen die once during "Crisis On Infinite Earths" right before TYKETTO first took off. That being said, "The Fastest Man Alive" is a banging Gen X rocker with all the machismo and blaring guitars it deserves.
"Reach" triggers a few shudders from the off-kilter numbers that could be shorn, leaving a genuinely great rock album. In all, however, there's a ton of heart and professionalism behind "Reach". The album reminds us why TYKETTO earned its shot the first time — just a little too late.