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Thunder -Rip It Up


Uk rock stalwarts Thunder return with their 11th studio album, following on from the highly successful Wonder Days. Whilst Rip It Up is not as instantly accessible as Wonder Days, it is every bit as good a listen if not better. If you are a Thunder fan then there will be the odd surprise on Rip It Up. Nothing major of course, they haven’t ripped up their blues rock template for metalcore breakdowns or jazz fusion. The things you have always loved about Thunder are still there, Harry’s ride cymbal, Ben’s organ ( ooooo errr ), the tug at the heartstrings ballad and of course THAT voice.

You could have excused Luke Morley for writing Wonder Days II and not challenging himself or his band. What he has done instead is maybe pushed himself harder than maybe he has ever done in the past. Opener No One Gets Out Alive is over in a flash of a rolling guitar riff, it gets the foot tapping and the head bobbing. Title track Rip It Up slams in next with its floor stomping heavy blues. It’s a heavy song for Thunder but retains its melody and hooks. She Likes The Cocaine floats along nicely until Lynne Jackaman comes along and tears the song a new one by adding a serious gospel flavour to the proceedings. Next up is Right From The Start, the big ballad of the album. If there is one thing that Thunder are experts in its the big ballad and this song doesn’t disappoint.

Shakedown brings out the cowbell, expect to see Ben Mathews stage left with cowbell when the tour hits, however he is gonna have to be seriously quick to get out the guitar as a wall of guitar hits with the chorus. Heartbreak Hurricane is a slab of Luke Morley brilliance. There are songs that grab you instantly, even if your not a fan of the artist there are songs that you just have to hold your hands up to and admit that it is quality, this is one of those songs. Any rock fan will appreciate this tune. In Another Life kicks in next and I’m waiting for Alannah Myles to start singing over that bass line. What we get instead are some Ben Matthews keys and an absolute classic Danny Bowes delivery, it’s their smokey bar song. Piano brings in The Chosen One before it kicks in to a straight ahead rocker, more of where that came from please.

The Enemy Inside is the nearest to Thunder by numbers,  there’s something that keeps it above being a filler as you never lose interest. The Who kick off Tumbling down before Thunder take over and turn it from Pinball Wizzard into another slab of blues rock goodness. Album closer There’s Always A Loser has the same kind of vibe as their song Once In A Lifetime, albeit with an electric uplifting ending.

All in all this is a grower of an album, with so much to listen to. You couldnt ask for more.