The ‘Challenge Alex’ experiment continues. This weeks suggestion comes from Jack. When I asked what genre of music this was I was told it is a kind of Heavy Metal/Rock. Despite having been around for approximately 28 years, I had never heard of this group. Described by Wikipedia as an English hard rock band from London. Formed in 1989, many of their albums are sold under the genre Metal. Thunder is this weeks challenge.
N.B: this is NOT a review – it’s simply an experiment in expanding my listening tastes.
What I listened to –
1. River of Pain
What does it sound like to me? Rocky. Not exactly hard! Some typical guitar solo and predictable drum n bass rhythm.
Did I like it? Was inoffensive, and uninteresting.
2. She’s So Fine
What does it sound like to me? Deep Purple anyone? Sounds to me like a poor man’s imitation of Deep Purple and AC/DC combined. Good vocals from Danny Bowes. I had the strange feeling that a tiny amount of Country Rock had snuck in there at points.
Did I like it? Nope.
3. A Better Man
What does it sound like to me? This is not Hard Rock! The writer must have been listening to C&W again – and that harmonica!? Why? A little guitar riff stolen from The Who thrown in there too.
Did I like it? Absolutely hated it.
4. Low Life in High Places
What does it sound like to me? A little slappy guitar, sad vocals. Not until halfway through does it turn into, what I recognise as, real Rock music; gravelly voice, heavy drums, whining guitar.
Did I like it? No.
5. In a Broken Dream
What does it sound like to me? Soft Rock/Pop. Oo, an organ! Intro has a little of the 70s influence going on, then dreary vocals; despite the effort to sound like Robert Plant (that ain’t gonna happen!) Makes me think of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar- Gethsemane song – but less emotional.
Did I like it? Meh.
6. Preaching from a Chair
What does it sound like to me? Rock/Pop. There is a maturity here which was missing from the previous pieces. Can imagine this used on a TV crime show. There’s the organ in the background again, albeit briefly, but the solo guitar returns the piece to teenage-boydom.
Did I like it? Best so far. But like it? Not much.
7.Right From the Start
What does it sound like to me? I get the feeling they were trying to get this used as opening theme for James Bond; that kind of Rock!! More love song stuff. Some typical guitar riffs. Dull rhythm.
Did I like it? Not really (and I’m trying to be nice here!)
8. Resurrection Day
What does it sound like to me? Rock. Thump-drum-cymbal-over-and-over-dum-cha-dum-cha-dum-cha-dum etc…
Did I like it? Yawn
What does it sound like to me? Like I want to cry out – “Where’s this Hard Rock I was promised!” Broken hearts and tambourines -bleurgh!
Did I like it? No!
10. No One Gets Out Alive
What does it sound like to me? Rock. Finally! Some good solid beats and strings. Typical sounding ‘old style’ rock, decent lyrics, obligatory guitar solo, a little thrashing, strong vocals. Nothing new here.
Did I like it? I didn’t hate it!
To round-up – I won’t be listening to Thunder again. Why? Because it’s boring and other bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, do it better. Reading that they were classed not only under the Rock, but Metal genre, I struggled to find anything ‘metallic’ about any of it. For supporters of the group, I would remind you that the point of this’experiment’, was for people to challenge my listening habits, get me out of my comfort zone – rattle me, make me struggle, make me make an effort. So far, not a single suggestion has done that – least of all Thunder! Was it challenging? No, not at all. Not so much Thunder, as a rain-shower.