Thunder

Shooting at the Sun

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After sitting around the house bored for a few years, British hard rockers Thunder decided to risk the comeback trail with 2003's tellingly named Shooting at the Sun, their sixth studio album. And, much to their fans' delight, the band came back with all of its -- you guessed it -- THUNDER! In fact, they all but renounced the abnormally laid-back approach of 1999's Giving the Game Away with arguably their best, most eclectic collection of new songs since 1992's sophomore triumph, Laughing on Judgement Day. Fierce opening statement "Loser" is a cleverly self-deprecating love song in the vintage Thunder mold (and therefore basically the exact opposite of their self-aggrandizing American pomp metal counterparts), while "Somebody Get Me a Spin Doctor" plants the group's understandable music business bitterness firmly in cheek, and "Blown Away" merely builds impressively from a whisper to a roar. These highlights tend to overshadow somewhat peppier material like the funky single "Everybody's Laughing" and even the cleverly worded "The Pimp and a Whore," proving Thunder are always at their best when acting their age, whether that means cruising for a bruising on the tough nuts cited above, or gritting their teeth through typically poignant bluesy ballads like "If I Can't Feel Love," "A Lover, Not a Friend," and "The Man Inside." In the end, Shooting at the Sun could do only so much to revive Thunder's commercial prospects at a time when their style of music was still largely looked down upon; but it did wonders to reenergize their loyal audience, keeping the band booked and touring for several years to come before the music business grind got the best of them yet again.

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