Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
'Difficult' second album proves to be another gem
on 7 January 2004
UK rockers Thunder were flushed with success after their debut album 'Backstreet Symphony' caused a stir at home and abroad, from which the guys were able to steal the show at Donington and sell out venues across the UK. The big question was whether they could come up with another strong album to build on that success. Happily 'Laughing...' follows on with another set of top notch songs, mainly written once again by guitarist and co-producer Luke Morley with input from the other guys (and co-producer Andy Taylor) on a few numbers. This album has many highlights, such as the emotive 'Low Life in High Places', 'A Better Man' (a live favourite to this day) and the storming 'Fire to Ice', where singer Danny Bowes evokes memories of classic Dio-era Rainbow.
The album is notable for the fact that there is one track which is NOT written by the prolific Morley; 'The Moment of Truth', a funky number which the rest of the guys composed and is not out of place alongside the consistently high standard set by the chief writer. Once again Danny Bowes proves himself in the great British rock singer stakes, and the musicianship is top notch, with signs that the guys were beginning to step beyond pure 'crunch', ading horns and harmonica where appropriate.
A second Donington appearance and some prestigious support slots helped keep the band's profile high in the face of the grunge tidal wave sweeping the rock scene, but there was a mini crisis looming in the ranks when bassist Mark 'Snake' Luckhurst quit after this album and tour citing musical and personal differences. Rumours of an approach by Whitesnake's David Coverdale to snap up Luke Morley were circling at this time also (since refuted by both parties) and the period was the most turbulent in the band's career. The grunge effect finally bit not long after, when the unrelenting success of the Seattle bands meant nothing else was getting a look-in, and so it would be two years before Thunder returned with a new album and a new bassist.
Another highly recommended album for fans of classic well-crafted British rock 'n' roll, although inevitably overshadowed by the near perfect 'Backstreet Symphony', this album should be high on the list for those just discovering this excellent band.