Thunderlip - Thunderlip (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Thunderlip (2005)


For the most part, I find southern rock to be far more obnoxious than redeeming. I'm all for a fighting spirit and healthy amount of attitude in the music I listen to, but it seems a lot of bands fitting that profile take style and swagger over substance. It's not so simple this time around, though, as Thunderlip draws as much from Iggy Pop as they do Lynyrd Skynyrd.

This puts Thunderlip in quite the interesting position. Which side of the music is going to come across as the dominant one?

The annoying side, apparently. I don't know what it is, but for the absolute life of me, I cannot tolerate the vocals of Chuck Krueger or James Yopp. The singing just really grates on my nerves, and it just sounds like a lot of off-key wailing for no other purpose other than to project an attitude. It's almost like Krueger doesn't sing, he flaunts. Yopp fares a little better, and you can immediately tell which tracks he's doing the singing on, as they evoke more of a traditional punk feel than any of the other songs. What keeps it from having any more resemblance to punk are the over-the-top lyrics about getting laid and leather pants. I've never been one to demand a real poetic nature, or something socially or politically insightful from some of the bands I listen to, but a little effort would go a long way for these guys.

They might not impress in the vocal category but, no, nevermind, they really don't impress in a musical sense either. The basic riffing is nothing to rave over, but the band does change it up on occasion with some solid soloing or a good change of pace. "Damnation" is a rollicking four-minute adventure that, through several changes of pace and playing styles, manages to stay relatively interesting. The solo towards the end is also one of the better moments to be found, but the vocals come back in before long to really kill things off.

This album has its ups and downs like any other, but this is simply not an album that anyone's going to remember in two weeks time. A decent concept and execution to match are ultimately dragged down by vocals that for me, do nothing but deter from what could have been.