Thunder

Robert Johnson's Tombstone

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Long-running British hard rockers Thunder are being a bit presumptive when they call an album Robert Johnson's Tombstone, since their brand of AC/DC-style crunch owes only slightly more to the blues than Be Bop Deluxe owes to Charlie Parker. Indeed, the opening title track is a bit of a laugh, a shamefully earnest bit of white-boy blooze that simply doesn't come off very well. With that out of the way, however, Thunder return to what made them, if not famous, then at least reasonably well known in certain circles: punchy three-chord hard rock delivered with maximum swagger and minimum fuss. Highlights include the surprisingly thoughtful meditation on fame and art in "Andy Warhol Said," and the seven-minute boogie workout "Last Man Standing." While Robert Johnson's Tombstone won't win Thunder any new acolytes, fans will be entirely pleased.

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