Thunder - All The Right Noises review


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Band: Thunder
Album: All The Right Noises
Release date: March 2021

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

Can you hear the thunder?

All The Right Noises is the all-new material full-length by Thunder that is the follow-up to 2017's Rip It Up, and one that lives up to its title but belies its truth; while Thunder make the right noises, none of them are truly captivating or engrossing in a way to hold the listener for anything more than a casual listen.

The main issue with All The Right Noises is that while I can appreciate and enjoy the songs, there are few moments that make me want to crank up the volume and hit replay. While the album features songs that are good for casual listens, none of them are ones I would actively search out to play again. While harmless enough on playthroughs in the background, if you want something to grab your attention, then you will find yourself twiddling your thumbs rather than getting up to dance. Tracks like "Destruction" and "Young Man" are perhaps the best examples of this: inoffensive and well constructed, but lacking in anything to make me want to return to them in an age where alternatives are easier to find than ever.

"Going To Sin City" and "St. George's Day" live up to the album title, the former an upbeat rocker supplemented well through the use of a horn section, and the latter a mid-tempo acoustic-led number supplemented by a well-utilized string section. Both should be knock-down drag-out hits, but even with everything they have going for them, something just doesn't fully click and you end up with songs that come so close to greatness but fall short somehow. It is not down to any incapacity or the band being too long in the tooth, as they have done well since their second reformation and subsequent output, such as 2015's Wonder Days, but something just doesn't happen on All The Right Noises to its detriment.

The album does have its bright moments, with the opening number "Last One Out Turn Out The Lights" coupling the band's classic rock stylings with a burning energy fuelled by anti-Brexit sentiment to make for a track that does away with the pleasantries and just lets it all loose; had the album featured more cuts in this vein, then the listening experience would be more positive for sure. The more blues-indebted numbers like "You're Gonna Be My Girl" and "She's A Millionairess" will have you bopping your head and tapping your feet, but fall short of making you want to get up and move your whole body; they're enjoyable while they last, but the impression they leave is a faint outline in the sand that is easily in danger of being washed away by the ever moving tide.

What perhaps is most frustrating of all is that Thunder do not sound like they are missing a step; the guitar tandem of Morley and Matthews do a solid job even if the well has run somewhat dry, while Danny Bowes still has one of the most underrated voices in rock, though there are few moments for the highlight reel to be found here. Coupled with the smooth but bouncy production, the rocket is all fuelled up on the launch pad but someone seems to have forgotten to bring any matches.

Ultimately All The Right Noises sees Thunder step up to the plate but fail to make any real connection; while they don't strike out, they can only manage to walk to first base. An album likely to get lost in the shuffle as the year goes on, damned by not evoking a reaction strong enough in either direction to make it memorable for good or for bad.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 7


Written on 15.03.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.

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