THUNDER – All The Right Noises (2021)
British hard-rock heroes THUNDER will release their 13th studio album ‘All The Right Noises’ next Friday. The album is a return to the full-throttle sound of Thunder that has seen them create a hugely successful 30+ year career at the forefront of British hard rock, all built around the lifelong friendship of vocalist extraordinaire Danny Bowes and songwriting genius and guitarist Luke Morley.
For someone who has followed & enjoyed the band since their origins, ‘All The Right Noises’ will certainly sit extremely highly in their albums to date list, even giving their fabled debut ‘Back Street Symphony’ a run for its money.
Thunder are maturing damn fine – defined, strongly flavored and most enjoyable than never before…
Since their triumphant return, back in 2015 with ‘Wonder Days’, Thunder have continued to produce music of the highest quality, with some fans saying it has been some of their best material to date.
‘All The Right Noises’, the band’s thirteenth studio release, continues that trend and is an album that Thunder die hards will have been hoping and patiently waiting for, with the UK rockers once again pushing their boundaries with new vibes and socially testing subjects, all the while very much being able to keep that Thunder backbone that we have come to know & love.
Add to that acoustic guitars, voice-box effects, great vocals & wonderful female backing singers and we get to hear that Thunder are still willing to come away from the back streets and explore new avenues to keep moving with the times.
Recorded back in 2019 and delayed for release until now due to the global pandemic, the band have sat anxiously on their hands awaiting March 12, a date that they could focus to finally unleash ‘All The Right Noises’.
The first single to be released back in late 2020 is also the album opener. ‘Last One Out Turn Out the Lights’ sees Luke Morley’s frustrations at the handling of Brexit clearly apparent. Zeppelin-esque riffs, Harry James’s infectious drum work and Danny Bowes sounding as good as ever, this track alone epitomizes everything we have come to love about this band and sets the bar high for a sure-fire live set inclusion and was the first taste of the new album that most Thunder fans heard & immediately loved.
‘Destruction’ is slower but painfully powerful as we are led into the dark world of mental illness, with Morley visiting a subject close to home after coming face to face with dealing dementia in his own family. We are transported to the wild west for ‘The Smoking Gun’ a ‘Blaze of Glory’ moment with crisp acoustic guitars and Bowes easing back vocal before joined by a voice-boxed guitar solo.
‘Going to Sin City’ revisits trips to L.A. in the late ‘80s, which educated Danny & Luke on some of the differing ways of the world. A thumping Chris Child’s bassline accompanies Bowes’ distorted vocals for ‘Don’t Forget to Live Before You Die’, another huge foot-tapper of a song, which grows to a real heavy groove before we get another spine tingling solo to boot.
Thunder are renowned for a good, solid balladry and ‘I’ll Be The One’ could very well be the song that final overtakes ‘Love Walked In’ as the ‘one’. Beautifully written both musically & lyrically, it tugs at the heart strings and reminds us of our vulnerability and need for someone to be there to help pick up the pieces when things get too much to bear. This is by far the highlight of the album for me and one that Bowes himself found the most difficult to sing from the entire back catalogue in the band’s thirty-year history, using all three recording session to finally “nail it”.
‘Young Man’ has that wonderful Thunder drive to it, taking us back to a ‘Laughing on Judgement Day’ feel and at nearly six minutes is the longest track on the eleven-song collection.
Another track to mention is the fantastic ‘You’re Gonna Be My Girl‘, a real big sounding song with an almost Rod Stewart ‘Hot Legs’ vibe to the opening guitar riff and a chorus that is filled with glorious female backing vocals. The full sound for Morley & fellow guitarist Ben Matthews is evident from the off.
‘St. George’s Day’ tackles the growing issue of immigration, an ever-increasing problem in the world today. Lyrically it points towards the struggles and horrors people run away from to find a new home but sometimes find they are faced with equally difficult situations and lack of acceptance.
More topical global subjects follow as ‘Force of Nature’ delivers from inside the head of the egotistical Donald Trump. The album closer is just classic Thunder; bouncy, rocky & damn well catchy. We are once again treated to a big chorus with the multi female backing vocals that bring the album home.
Thunder fans will love this album as it touches all the band’s key strengths – memorable songs, party rockers, ballads, lyrics to make you think and above all, well-crafted hard rock tunes.
An Album of the Year and one that could turn out to be their best since their legendary debut.
01 – Last One Out Turn Off the Lights
02 – Destruction
03 – The Smoking Gun
04 – Going to Sin City
05 – Don’t Forget to Live Before You Die
06 – I’ll Be the One
07 – Young Man
08 – You’re Gonna Be My Girl
09 – St. George’s Day
10 – Force of Nature
11 – She’s a Millionairess
Danny Bowes – lead vocals
Luke Morley – guitar, backing vocals
Ben Matthews – guitar, keyboards, organ, backing vocals
Chris Childs – bass, backing vocals
Gary James – drums, percussion, guitar, backing vocals