Album Reviews

Thunder – The Magnificent Seventh

(stc) UK release date: 21 February 2005

Lets get straight down to business; The Magnificent Seventh is a terrific return to form for British rock stalwarts Thunder. Like the biblical creature Goliath, it’s a hard-hitting giant but with fists of steel and cast iron balls.

It’s the rock quintet’s first album since 2003’s Shooting At The Sun, so why is it called the Magnificent Seventh? Because of course it’s their seventh studio album, and what a bloody good one it is too!

For a band that formed in 1989, a time that seems practically prehistoric in today’s ageist and fickle music industry, there remains a contemporary edge on many of the tracks that are dressed in classic old-school attire.

The heavier efforts in particular show Thunder’s desire and interest to stay up to speed with what’s going on in the current music scene whilst keeping their ardent fan base smiling with a small handful of soft retro numbers and neat riffs. In the words of lead vocalist and founding band member Danny Bowes “there’s a good mix of solid rockers and slushy stuff…”

The native south-London lads pour out some heavy-duty riffing on the excellent The Gods Of Love with an inspired solo spot, courtesy of guitarist Luke Morley while Danny’s vocal strength offers strong competition against the hard drumming. Monkey See, Monkey Do is a lighter number but it still maintains a strong momentum and a hard, catchy melody. The Pride is an awesome song that surely has great single potential but I’m Dreaming Again is a little too twee for my liking despite smooth acoustics.

You Can’t Keep A Man down is straight out of the Bon Scott-era AC/DC school of thinking with a cracking introductory riff that hits hard enough. The bluesy texture, tight rhythm and Danny’s meaty vocals are just the right ingredients for a classic four minute rock opus.

One Foot In The Grave has a smooth Southern-American boogie feel but things are soon cranked up several notches and the heaviness kicks-in with good effect yet One Fatal Kiss and Amy’s On The Run have too much of an 80’s approach, sort of like lost Bon Jovi b-sides; even complete with the chorus harmonies and ‘shouting bits.’

Aside from the minority of slower numbers, much of The Magnificent Seventh is top-notch stuff from a band that deserves far more recognition. This is a robust album that is definitely filled with growers, which could become great live favourites.

With the recent success of their excellent Top 40 single I Love You More Than Rock ‘n’ Roll, Thunder have much to be pleased about as The Magnificent Seventh is an exciting, sweat drenched journey that’s just like watching a good ol’ shoot ’em up at the OK Corral.

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Thunder – The Magnificent Seventh