East Midlands own Thunderian Summer have only been around for a few years, but have already been making waves in the underground rock scene. Having released their debut album just a couple of weeks back, the future looks very bright for them! We got sent over the album by our good friends at Unearthed and just had to check it out!
Opener ‘Pain is a Friend’ has a great, steady, slow-build intro. It explodes into a great lead guitar line over the top, it giving me immediate John Frusciante vibes. The vocals are rather indie over the top, but it also gives off slight New Wave vibes, Pulp or even Billy Idol. The chorus, while the instrumentation doesn’t change too much, is massively open and catchy. It’s a fantastic songwriting talent, to get all of these different sounding parts and levels of depth around the same couple of riffs. It drops back down around the middle, building up again perfectly in a very Ramones style. I loved this tracks, and it easily makes our playlist!
‘Steve McQueen’ opens on a fuzzy guitar riff, again building in the rest of the band perfectly. This one reminds me of Bush more than anything, a grungy take on old-school punk. It’s a simpler track from a structural standpoint, but is just as massive and catchy in the chorus as the previous track. It’s like early Nirvana at times too, and I love it. Plus, the lyrics here are really fantastic; deep and impactful. The drop-out to just guitars and slight drums is awesome and will go down so well live with clapping. Also, Danzig, that’s another voice that this reminds me of! It’s been bugging me the whole song until now… It’s another incredible track, and another to make the playlist!
The lead single from the album, ‘Time Bomb’, is a more blues-lead affair. The main riff is awesome, and is the main focus of the track aside from the Gavin Rossdale-style vocals. However, surprisingly, it lightened up in the choruses, it almost venturing into pop territory. It was all excellent but was certainly unexpected. Because of it, I can definitely see why they chose it for a single. However, it didn’t capture me quite as much as the opening two tracks did. The outro and riff were cool, but something about it didn’t click for me.
‘Cold September’ and ‘Chasing Shadows’ are more slower tracks again. Both feel like the ballads of the album, with the former being more New Wave while the latter is more grunge (with a bit of Type O Negative thrown in for good measure) awesomeness. Both are great tracks and fit the feel and style of the album perfectly. ‘Chasing Shadows’ wouldn’t feel out of place on the Temple of Dog album, it’s great.
‘State of Mind’ opens much like ‘Steve McQueen’, with a grungier Bryan Adams riff. The chorus is a little more open, some almost ska chorus and rhythm going on through it. It’s a fun track and, typically by this point, plenty catchy.
‘Shake Your Sins’ changes it up again, giving us a fantastic acoustic ballad. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the album, honestly. Just vocals and guitar, it is filled with emotion, from the opening note to the heart-breaking lyrics. Sometimes simplicity is key, and that is definitely the case here! You MUST check this out, what a beautiful song.
The opening of ‘Empathy’ reminds me of an Iron Maiden track but I can’t think which. I wanna say ‘Revelations’ or ‘Total Eclipse’. It’s a blend of that, Pink Floyd and Pearl Jam. It’s got a great grungy swagger and attitude to it. Meanwhile ‘Lion Bear Tiger Mama’ completely changes the pace again, introducing a new sound to the album late into the game, straight up rock’n’roll. It came out of left field but in the best of ways, giving off big Led Zep vibes.
Then, out of nowhere, we’re hit with a slow, prog-western track to close out the album. The riffing and lead guitaring that ran through this song was AMAZING, as was the bass, being a massive highlight of the track. It heavies up around the midpoint of the track, the distorted guitars coming in over the top and adding another fantastic layer of depth to it all. The track as a whole is phenomenal, another massive highlight of the album and another to easily make the playlist!
Overall: this was amazing. It blended together so many different genres, from indie to rock to western to acoustic, and did it all masterfully. I would highly recommend this album to anyone, as you’re bound to find something you love no matter your tastes. It’s one hell of a debut album and I cannot wait to here where this band goes in the future after this. They should have a massive 2023!
The Score: 8.5/10