Release Date: May 26, 2015
I suppose I’ll be upfront about the fact that I had no idea Thunder had gone on to massive popularity in Europe after they released their debut album Backstreet Symphony. I still listen to that album regularly (thanks to MTV for playing the “Dirty Love” video so much back in the day!) but assumed the band had just faded off into the sunset after that. As it turns out, they have a host of well-loved albums that have sold at gold and platinum levels in the UK! This is their first album in five years, which makes it a reunion album of sorts….
Wonder Days starts out on exactly the right note with the Zeppelin infused title track. The band grind it down in a very seventies way without sounding like a clone. Lead guitar work is becoming a lost art but Thunder prove with just one track how incredibly important it is to making dynamic music. “The Thing I Want” brings a more rock and roll groove into the mix that reminds me a great deal of everything I love about Backstreet Symphony sans the silliness of the end of the hair metal era. “Resurrection Day,” “Chasing Shadows,” and “I Love the Weekend” have that same good-time rock and roll feel with just enough Blues to show off the incredible chops these players have.
Of course, there are a couple of ballads in tow as well on Wonder Days. “The Rain” is a more acoustic ordeal that kind of has a Delta Blues flare. It comes early on in the album and, honestly, rubs me wrong because it breaks up the fun relatively quickly. The piano led “Broken” comes later and is a lot stronger. It’s a more soulful tune overall and the piano work is a welcome change late in the record, as is the country-ish lead guitar work.
Whitesnake, Cinderella, AC/DC, Kingdom Come , and seventies Blues-inspired rock all come to mind when listening to Thunder’s Wonder Days. If you dig excellent musicianship, well-crafted songs, and bands with one foot firmly planted on a stadium stage then you should immediately seek this one out. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m missing some Thunder albums in my collection and I need to go order them.
Reviewed by Mark 1340