(8/10) One of the most important British hardrock bands in the 90’s and beginning of the 2000’s, Thunder, is back with a new album. This is something that I haven’t really expected. After a first split at the end of the last century the band stopped as well in 2009 after having released great albums like “Bang!”. Thunder played a couple of shows afterwards, also under a slightly different banner, but I wasn’t expecting a new studio record – even though I was hoping for a new one.
2015, six years after the last studio record, Thunder is back again and they have a new CD ready to be shipped. “Wonder days” is the name of the disc that is released by earMUSIC. Important to know is that the core of the band is still part of the line-up. Danny Bowes (v), Luke Morley (g) Gary James (d) and Ben Matthews (key) are members from day one while Chris Childs (b) joined the band in the late 90’s.
I must say that the album sound pretty good and it’s a pleasure to have the five-piece band back. “Wonder days” has a big classic rock touch that comes back already in the opener. The title track “Wonder days” comes with some Led Zeppelin cross marks and a strong 70’s expression. It’s a great entry into the album that is followed by the heavy grooving “The thing I want”. This tune has an excellent hookline and puts a spell on you. Maybe a bit commercial but for me one of the best tracks on the album.
Another song that belongs to my favorites is “Black water”. The hard rocker is very rhythm based supported by a heavy riff. The catchy tune, enriched by a great guitar solo, could actually become small hit of the band. I like it.
It also seems that the tour with Whitesnake made an impact on the band too. “The prophet” is reminding a bit to Coverdale and band mates. And “Chasing shadows” is a song that fits, mainly based on the blues elements, into the same category.
And there are the sheer rock songs too. “Resurrection day” is one of them. Supported by acoustic guitars the song is built on an excellent melody and great vocals done by Bowes. Talking about acoustic guitars; “Wonder days” contains also a silent track called “The rain”. It actually reminded me to Bon Jovi’s “Dead or alive” from the way how it is arranged. It’s a soulful song that adds to the wide range of tunes of “Wonder days”.
The ‘real’ ballad on the album is “Broken”. It’s a 4 minutes long and highly emotional track with a strong piano contribution. The track shows Thunder from their more silent side and proves the great sense for melodies of the band members.
Thunder puts a lot of variation into “Wonder days” by never getting lost in diversity. It still 100% Thunder from the first to the last note. It’s great to have the guys back.
- Wonder days
- The thing I want
- The rain
- Black water
- The Prophet
- Resurrection day
- Chasing shadows
- When the music played
- I love the weekend