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‘Rip It Up’ is Thunder's eleventh studio release and features Danny Bowes on vocals, Luke Morley and Ben Matthews on guitars (with Matthews also handling keyboard duties), with bassist Chris Childs and drummer Harry James, also of Magnum, making up the rhythm section. The album kicks off with a trio of riotously up tempo songs. 'No One Gets Out Alive' and the title track are both lyrically very positive and are about making the most of your life (as Bowes points out with the title of the opener) and not being afraid of failure, while the third, 'She Likes The Cocaine', as you can probably imagine, is about a girl who likes a good time!

Things move down a notch, tempo-wise, with 'Right From The Start', which sees Bowes in a more reflective mood, before the pace picks up again with the ever so slightly funky 'Shakedown'. 'Heartbreak Hurricane' follows and this is a slower, quite brooding effort, with the lyrics, about relationship breakdown, and the music combining effectively to create the mood that the band want to achieve.

Next up is 'In Another Life', another slower paced track with an insistent, throbbing bass line reminiscent of ‘Black Velvet’ by Alannah Myles and an excellent guitar solo. 'The Chosen One' follows and this is possibly the best cut on the album, with a superb piano-led intro and a driving riff that moves the song along at a steady stride.

The following song, 'The Enemy Inside', is another fast moving track, with the lyrical theme of the devil on your shoulder who makes you do things that you might not otherwise do. The closing pair of songs, 'Tumbling Down' and 'There's Always A Loser' are mid-paced, with the latter highlighting the drums of Harry James and Matthews' piano in a soulful, bluesy climax to the album.

As mentioned at the beginning of this review, this is Thunder's eleventh studio release. The band, in various guises, have been together for almost thirty years and have seen their fair share of ups and downs, including breaking up a couple of times. However, as is self-evident, you can't keep a good thing down and Thunder have most definitely experienced a renaissance over the last few years. Is this superb release the zenith of that renaissance or is there still more to come? Only time will tell but, in the meantime, I recommend that you grab a copy of ‘Rip It Up’ and enjoy the musical delights on offer!
Review by Dave Uphill
10th Feb 2017
1) No One Gets Out Alive
2) Rip It Up
3) She Likes the Cocaine
4) Right from the Start
5) Shakedown
6) Heartbreak Hurricane
7) In Another Life
8) The Chosen One
9) The Enemy Inside
10) Tumbling Down
11) There's Always a Loser
"...as is self-evident, you can't keep a good thing down and Thunder have most definitely experienced a renaissance over the last few years."