Album Reviews

Thunder – Wonder Days Review

thunder-wonderdays

Record Label: EarMUSIC

Release date: 16th February 2015

Genre: Hard Rock

 

Line-up:

Danny Bowes (Vocals)

Luke Morley ( Lead Guitar/Rhythm guitar and keyboards)

Ben Matthews ( Rhythm Guitar but unfortunately Absent on this album due to ill health)

Chris Childs (Bassist)

Gary ‘Harry’ James (Drums)

 

Track Listing:

  • Wonder Days
  • The thing I want
  • The Rain
  • Black Water
  • The Prophet
  • Resurrection Day
  • Chasing Shadows
  • Broken
  • When the music played
  • Serpentine
  • I love the weekend

 

British Rockers ‘Thunder’ are back with their tenth studio album ‘Wonder Days’ and we couldn’t be more excited. Released February, 16th this is the first studio album Thunder have recorded in six years. With unforgettable melodies and sheer Rock power it’s easy to see why Thunder are one of the biggest and most successful bands to come from Britain.

Complete with an album influenced by their experiences in the 70’s we get a real feel for the mix of Blues, soul and Rock N’ Roll. When I first heard this album I was happy to hear that Thunder seem to know their roots and what works for them as a band. They know how to captivate the listener and that’s exactly what this album will do. Title track ‘Wonder Days’ (also track 1) complete with the somewhat Zeppelin vibe really grabs your attention from the offset. Opening up with a cool catchy guitar riff it becomes apparent that this is an album worthy of Hard Rock perfection. On this particular track you get a sense for the excellent lyrics and stunning musical capability of not only singer Danny Bowes but also from the others in the band and it lets you know that you can expect a treat as this album continues.

Wonder Days’ has it all from the well expected striking powerhouse guitar solos to the less hard hitting and slightly more melodic and delicate acoustic strumming of guitarist Luke Morley. Sleek beats and awesome drum techniques from Gary James to long term bassist Chris Child’s outstanding rhythmic back bone, this really is an album of true satisfaction.

On another tangent from title track ‘wonder Days’ we also get to hear the slightly more melodic ballad ‘Broken’ to keep this album very much the Thunder we all know and love. This track along with a few more has the potential to become another great single release with other stand out tracks being ‘Resurrection Day’Black Water’ and ‘The thing I want’ all of which tell really great stories but also make the album flow whilst still giving fans a little bit of every genre musically.

Recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, guitarist Luke Morley took on the role of becoming this albums producer and it shows. This time around I get the sense that Thunder have been able to truly make this an album they can whole heartedly say they’ve put everything into. However it isn’t worlds apart from their earlier record ‘Back Street Symphony’. The reason for this could be that they know what works and they know what their fans are after. If this is the case then I applaud them, as Thunder fans won’t really have a need to be disappointed with this album.

Sadly, you can’t expect rhythm guitarist Ben Matthews to make appearance on this album due to ill health therefore Luke Morley decided to also take on the role of all the guitar sections and keyboards throughout the studio recording.

Half way through listening to this album I could really hear the influences. AC/DC, Aerosmith, Def Leppard and Metallica all spring to mind especially on tracks such as ‘Chasing Shadows’ with a very obvious influence of Aerosmith. The guitar sections throughout make this track edgy whilst Danny uses his influence of Steven Tyler to add the ever interesting slower and potent vocal. Mixed by Mike Fraser who’s cv includes those of the latter bands mentioned it becomes apparent why these tracks sound somewhat similar but that’s not to say Thunder haven’t put their own unique twist and spin on their songs that make for another epic album. Other tracks such as ‘The Prophet’ and ‘Serpentine’ play their part by consisting of a more southern blues rock feel. This mixed with standard hard rock tracks and a ballad at the end of the album make for an ageless sound that’s memorable, appealing and less likely to fizzle out in time to come. Due to this studio album being so heavily influenced by other artists around the Hard Rock scene its nothing that we haven’t heard before however ‘Wonder Days’ is sheer Rock power and it’s definitely worth the listen.

Written by: Alex Alicia Firth

 

RATING: ALEX ALICIA 9/10

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