THUNDER - Rip It Up
March 8, 2017, a year ago
In the blues based hard rock tradition of fellow Brits Free and Whitesnake, Thunder never really got their due (debut dropped by Capitol, before being resurrected by Geffen) in part because of riding the tail end of the ‘80s Sunset Strip fad, having thrown their lot in with that era's A&R wunderkind John Kalodner. The move never paid intended (superstar) dividends and it could be argued, Thunder have been playing catch up, ever since. On and off again retirement and some line-up changes, but since the new millennium, the band has released albums semi-regularly (usually augmented with live/bonus discs), the ‘80s creative core remaining intact. Thus it still sounds like vintage Thunder!
“No One Gets Out Alive” is a spirited opener, before the paradoxical title track offers a bluesy mid-tempo, barroom strut, apart from a brief Beatles-esque flourish. Wonder where the impetus for “She Likes The Cocaine” came from (Buckcherry?): a female backing singer and honky-tonk piano number. Acoustic ballad “Right From The Start” is up next, while cowbell enhanced “Shakedown” follows. A jazz lounge “In Another Life” utilizes both electric piano and synthesizers, complete with a few tasty guitar licks. “The Chosen One” gets back to rocking, a foot stomper that fades out just as the guitar solo takes over. “The Enemy Inside” is a drinking song. The back-up singers return for “Tumbling Down” and slowed down disc closer “There's Always A Loser” (an unpopular idea in this day & age), trots out the piano again. Know the guys are in their late ‘50s, but a little too much dad rock for my metallic sensibilities.
There are assorted bundles and extras disc versions available via the band's website, include vinyl, cassettes, an exclusive 4 (unreleased) song Broken Mirror EP, double live disc from The 100 Club and more fan goodies, which may pump up this score by a point.