The Delicate Sound of Thunder - Rolling Stone

18/02/2023 By acomputer 342 Views

The Delicate Sound of Thunder - Rolling Stone

The British hard rock band Thunder celebrates its thirty years of existence by revisiting its repertoire in a new album, Please Remain Seated. Fasten your seatbelts!

On December 21, 2018, Thunder took over the prestigious London Roundhouse to perform their now legendary Christmas show. This tradition, initiated in 2003, allows the hard rock band to perform two acoustic and electric sets each year, barring exceptions, and concludes in style a sumptuous 2018 vintage: Stage, the live album recorded in Europe and Japan, reached the first place in the British charts, and the formation particularly stood out during the Download Festival in Donington Park, in June 2018. If, in France, Thunder barely fills a Maroquinerie, as was the case during their last visit to April 2017, the group is famous, on the other hand, in the land of the Rising Sun and a prophet in its own lands, where it collected two gold records, when that still meant something, and placed no less than 20 singles in the charts, including the famous “Love Walked In”, “She's So Fine” and “A Better Man”.

Thunder is doing remarkably well because, at the beginning, it is an understatement to say that the case was far from over: formed in 1989 by Danny Bowes (vocals), Luke Morley (guitar) and Gary James (drums), all three ex-Terraplane, a critically acclaimed pop combo that reached No. 74 on the charts in 1985, the band landed at the wrong time, in the wrong place. At the turn of the 1990s, if the Guns N'Roses still held the upper hand, they were indeed soon devastated by the Nirvana tornado and the grunge wave that put hair metal in the broom closet. Wrongly assimilated to peroxide hair because of a look that defied, even at the time, the limits of good taste (just watch the video for “She's So Fine” to be convinced), Thunder nevertheless artistically saves his skin thanks to his efficient and excellently crafted classic rock, between Bad Company, Whitesnake and Aerosmith: powerful and rocky voice, crystalline arpeggios and string solos, well-structured compositions often imprinted with blues and soul, square production, bubbling concerts … If Thunder did not invent “lightning”, we have to recognize in it an armed musical identity and the will not to fall asleep on its laurels: “We have never been the kind of group that composes the same album over and over again, and we were never afraid to try new things. In fact, our creative process over the past thirty years has taught us that we are never as good as when we are faced with a challenge”, singer Danny Bowes recently explained. In fact, despite numerous separations followed by as many reformations, despite some confusion with various record companies which prompted them, in 2002, to create their own label, STC Recordings, Thunder is still part of the landscape, as evidenced by the the good performance of the album Rip It Up, released in 2017, which reached third place in the UK charts, their best score in twenty-two years.

His successor, to be released in January 2019, the aptly named Please Remain Seated – which benefits, oh surprise, from a superb artwork, which Thunder had not really accustomed us to, far from it – sees the five musicians revisit their catalog with enthusiasm, without complex and without taking into account the quarrels of chapel: “After having reimagined and re-recorded 'Love Walked In' in 2017, we wanted to apply the same process to other songs. Some titles came to fruition spontaneously, others took a series of strange left and right turns before ending up somewhere none of us could have imagined.” A mid-tempo place with a delicate sound, full of all the influences that already permeated the original pieces, totally assumed and put forward here: white blues (“Bigger Than Both of Us” and “Empty City”), jazzy piano (“ Girl's Going Out of Her Head”), rhythmic reggae (“Fly on the Wall”), soul reminiscences (“Just Another Suicide”), without forgetting “I'm Dreaming Again”, the absolute power ballad that kills!

The delicate sound of Thunder - Rolling Stone

“Please Remain Seated is not meant to be a best-of, nor is it a change of direction. It is simply an additional leg of the journey to our destination, whatever that may be,” concludes Danny Bowes. Let's sit down, then, and travel. Attention, a thunderbolt cannot be ruled out!

Denis Roulleau