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Thunderstick - Echoes From The Analog Asylum

Echoes From The Analog Asylum
by Mark Gromen at 19 March 2012, 6:46 PM

The original hooded menace, THUNDERSTICK (aka Barry Graham) was best known as NWOBHM act SAMSON’s drummer. He wore a zippered mouth bondage hood and played in a cage, while namesake guitarist Paul Samson struggled for credibility after losing singer “Bruce Bruce” to IRON MAIDEN (where he then went under his proper Dickinson surname). THUNDERSTICK lasted three albums, before striking out (prophetic) on his own, where he issued an Ep and a female fronted disc (“Beauty And The Beasts”) before heading into obscurity, only to have those recordings resurrected (along with some heretofore unheard alternate demo versions and bonus material) by this small US based label.

The lively “Heartbeat (In The Night)” opener sees the male backing vocals and Valentine double tracked. It’s sort of odd hearing these songs in almost three decades retrospect: short, simple Rock constructs that now get lumped into the Metal category due to the drummer’s pedigree. More in common with contemporaries like ROCK GODDESS than legit bands like GIRLSCHOOL, i.e. a dolled up (not fully Glam) Pop approach. Although it possesses some of the album’s best guitar punch, “Rich Girls (Don’t Cry)” is almost entirely comprised of the lyrics: “Rich girls don’t cry, cause it’s tough to cut a diamond” at 3:17, “In The Name Of The Father” is not really a song, but a string of pre-recorded sound effects and incidental music. “Contact Angel” bears a resemblance to Sunset Strip Rock N’ Roll, while the piano tinged ballad “Another Turnabout” begins with a chorus of children praying. “Feel Like Rock N Roll” does just that, circa 70s acts like SWEET or T.REX, as does "You Got Me In Pieces", another homage to early 70s Brit Rock. The instrumental (bonus) version of "Heartbeat (In The Night)” gives it even more oomph, letting the music do the talking.

Interesting historical document for completists, but hardly an essential purchase, even for the most die-hard Metalheads.

2 Star Rating

1. Heartbeat In The Night
2. Rich Girls (Don`t Cry)
3. In the Name of the Father / Echoes from the Asylum
4. Long Way to Go
5. Contact Angel
6. Afraid of the Dark
7. Another Turnaround
8. Feel like Rock`n`Roll?
9. Alecia
10. Runaround
11. Buried Alive
12. Heartbeat In The Night (Instrumental Version)
13. Afraid Of The Dark instrumental Version)
14. You Get Me In Pieces (Love Letter To Jack)
15. Feel like Rock`n` Roll? (Alternative Mix)
16. Long Way to Go (reprise)
Jodee Valentine– Vocals
Wango Wiggins– Guitar
Cris Martin– Guitar
Thunderstick – Drums
Ben K Reeve- Bass
Record Label: Heaven & Hell Records


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