Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM
When they came along at the very tail end of the 1980’s Thunder emerged fully formed and ready to carry the flame from the giants that bestrode the rock world in the 60’s and 70’s.
Here was a band declared the finest English rock band of their generation and now, just over three decades from the debut, they again cement their reputation with an album that stands to be one of the very finest they’ve put out.
‘All the Right Noises’, the band’s thirteenth studio, sees the band building on the success of their recent run of releases that sprung from the bands ending of their second hiatus, everything from this comeback showing quite clearly that the band still have plenty to say.
You’d be hard pressed to find any other artists who have put out such consistently high-quality material, Luke Morley seemingly able to come up with one perfectly formed slice of bluesy hard rock after another.
It also helps that this line-up has been together for twenty-five years now, the quintet perfectly in tune with each other and working like the smoothest of machines.
With cuts like single ‘Going to Sin City’, the band show that they’re not afraid to rock out as hard as they ever had, age not mellowing them at all, the band having a ball and you just know that they’ll be a sea of happy faces at packed arenas around the country when we’re all finally allowed back to shows.
You’re Gonna Be My Girl’ has an irresistible Stonesy swagger and ‘Don’t Forget To Live Before You Die’ has a titanic groove care of the propulsive rhythm section partnership of Harry James and Chris Childs.
The band also manage to bring out one of their best ballads to date in the shape of ‘I’ll Be the One’, a touching and heartfelt track that is sure to become as much a favourite as ‘Love Walked In’.
Whilst there certainly is some good time rock ‘n’ roll songs on ‘All The Right Noises’, Morley has never been afraid to bring more global subjects into focus and the album finds that balance perfectly, walking that fine line between having a voice whilst never tipping over into preaching.
Opener ‘Last One Out Turn Off The Lights’ is a prime example of this, a pneumatic rocker that starts with a riff that sounds very similar to Led Zep’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’, it rails against the frustration of what has happened to the country due to Brexit.
Similarly, later on there is the dissection of the rising stain of nationalism in ‘St George’s Day’, the biting lyrics wrapped up in a beautifully constructed amalgam of Bad Company meets ELO playing ‘Kashmir’.
Elsewhere, the hard hitting and stadium filling rock of ‘Destruction’ covers the subject of mental illness and ‘Force of Nature’ gets into the mind of former President Donald Trump, his cult of personality fueling the ego of the divisive figure.
Whilst lyrically this could all be seriously heavy stuff, it’s done with such feel and style as to not jar, Morley far too well experienced to get the balance wrong.
Truth be told though, when you have a singer as outstanding as Danny Bowes delivering the lines, they could rant as hard as they wanted and people would be blindsided by the delivery. Thunder are better than that though and always have been.
What you get here is Morley, Bowes, James, Childs and Ben Matthews at their peak, the five firing on all cylinders and bringing their ‘A’ game yet again.
The years together have welded Thunder as a unit that share the same vision and a breathtaking ability to achieve the goals they set themselves, with a level of skill unsurpassed by any of their contemporaries.
The band have always acknowledged their debt to those who came before and influenced them, ‘All the Right Noises’ shows them once more standing shoulder to shoulder with those legends, making music that will last and echo throughout the years to come.
Pre-order the new album ‘All The Right Noises’ here : https://thunderband.lnk.to/ATRNID
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