Review: Thunder 'Wonder Days'

AVAILABLE for some time, it’s official release according to the label was May 29th, Thunder return with their tenth studio album, and their first since 2008’s ‘Bang!’ And, what a return it is.

‘Wonder Days’ is a ‘Thunderous’ return to form and their best album since Behind Closed Doors in 1995. A mixture of blues,soul and good old rock’n’roll sees the band reflect on their dreams as young boys in the 70’s , forming their first band as teenagers through to their take on the modern day music industry.

‘Wonder Days’ is a brash opener with a big bluesy riff. Concentrating on those early days we are taken back to a time those of a certain age can easily relate to. Immediately we hear that Danny’s voice is in top order, something that continues on each and every song on this album. ‘The Thing i want’ is unmistakedly a Thunder song, a straight up uncomplicated rocker with an opening riff bound to get a bit of ‘Danny dancing” going! Track three, ‘The Rain’, slows the tempo down starting acoustically with mandolin and keyboard being a very effective Led Zep- like addition. Again Danny is in his element singing this bluesy style. One of the best British rock vocalists since Paul Rodgers?

‘Black Water’ is another bluesy rocker in the style of Bad Company with a great chorus and melodic solo from Luke. Fifth track ‘The Prophet’ starts out with a galloping riff. Again there’s a Led Zep influence. Harry’s drumming drives this song along nicely. A lyrical assault on a certain Saturday night TV show is the basis of the song and a great slide guitar solo make this song a winner.

‘Resurrection Day’ changes the pace slightly again with a highly infectious tune and a proper Thunder sing-a-long bit near the end means this is bound to become a live favourite.

A mid paced bluesy rocker ‘Chasing Shadows’ is next. A song with bit of an Aerosmith swagger to it has an excellent solo from Luke as its highlight.

“Where’s the ballad” I hear you cry?

Fear not..’Broken’ is said ballad and the highlight of the album. A keyboard intro layered by Danny’s soulful and heartfelt vocal turns into an emotional story of the pain of lost love. Listen to this right after the classic ‘Love Walked In’ and you have, in essence, a sequel and a love story brought full circle.

‘When the Music Played’ is a song about when you first got into music, cherising that new vinyl and how those songs still play a huge part in your life. It has a light melody before the song takes a harder edge as they attack modern record company executives before reverting back to its lighter melody.

‘Serpentine’ is 12-bar Southern boogie belter about S&M with an acoustic intro before going totally ZZ Top. Danny even gives a Billy Gibbons style vocal near the end. Great song.

The album closes with ‘I Love the Weekend’ which has a manic old skool blues riff to it. Chris’s bass line drives this along and in fact the rhythm section of Chris and Harry is solid throughout the album. Great rockin end to the album which may just induce more “Danny dancing”

A great return to form for the boys and if you buy a deluxe version there’s a live cd from Wakken 2013 which is well worth a listen.

Review by Andy Gillen

(this review was first published on our partner site BELFAST METALHEADS REUNITED)


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