Friday, November 29, 2013

Teenage Suicide by Thundertrain

Thundertrain was one of Boston's punk stars of the 70's. They toured for five years and shared the stage with The Cars, The David Johansen Group, The Runaways and many other bands. This album was released in 1977 and is the only studio album that they recorded.
It opens with their hit song,"Hot For Teacher", it is fast paced and makes for an excellent start to the album. It is followed by, "Let 'er Rip" and it is a foot stomper with a boogie beat that changes in the end, reminds me of early Aerosmith. Next up is "Modern Girls" and it just keeps the beat going, with a nice walk down in the chorus. "Cheater" then slows the beat with some face ripping lead guitar. The first side closes with "Love The Way" and it brings the beat back up with a killer ending.
Side B starts with "Hell Tonite" and it is a solid rocker with some good riffs. The second tune, "Frustration", has a moderate beat and several changes and is followed by, "Forever and Ever" which has the same moderate beat but is more straight forward and does not have the changes as the previous song. The album ends with "I Gotta Rock", I think it is a live cut or just people in the studio to give the illusion of it being recorded in a small venue. It is a good rocker with good guitar, good bass, and is an excellent song to end the album.
This albums shows a band that had great potential and they deserved a second shot in a studio that would accentuate their sound. In 2002 Gulcher Records re-issued, Teenage Suicide, and the band re-united for several shows. In 2004 Gulcher released, Hell Tonight, a Thundertrain show from 1979.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The best album of The Illusion

The Illusion came from Long Island, New York and were together from 1965 to 1972. The group had one major hit with "Did You See Her Eyes", which peaked at number 32. Afterwards they had three minor hits: "Together", "How Does it Feel?" and "Let's Make Each Other Happy".
This is their debut and most succesful album and it starts with a session outtake that, I think, gives it a good time feel and provides the listener some insight as to the bands personality. The opening track, "Did You See Her Eyes" starts on a good beat, followed by an interesting change after the chorus, and then it goes into a drum solo finally ending with a jam that's good and funky. In the second track,"Talkin' Sweet Talkin' Soul" the vocals get a bit poppy but with a hard rock beat that makes for a good listen. "Just Imagine" has an acoustic guitar that gives it a laid-back easy listening feel for the third track. This side finishes with a medley, "Run, Run, Run / Willy Gee (Miss Holy Lady)" which is my favorite track on the album. It is upbeat and has enough variety to keep it interesting and they left an outtake from the session, at the end the drummer yells that he broke his drum head.
The second side has no outtakes and thus they seem more serious and geared towards getting airplay. The songs lean more towards pop rock and only until the final cut do they let loose and get the beat moving. They open with, "I Love You, Yes I Do", it has a good beat and decent harmonies. The last verse is sung acapella and mixed with some sound effects, which I feel, makes the song more interesting.  "Alone" is the next track and it sounds like they were going for a top forty hit with heavy harmonies and a very pop rock feel. The third track, "Charlena", is also full of vocal harmonies but with a good steady beat that you could dance to. This is followed by another medley, "Why, Tell Me Why / The Real Thing, and is slow and bluesy for the first part and then goes into pop rock with plenty of harmonies. The album closes with, "You Made Me What I Am" and it continues with a pop feel until the ending when it kicks into high gear and makes for a memorable ending to the album.
I feel that rock music from the sixties and seventies showcases the variety of styles that were developing in the music industry. The Illusion is an excellent example of the originality and talent of the musicians of that era. Their music will be enjoyed by anyone that listens to rock music.