Thundermug Strikes [Axe]

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Thundermug's first album was above average, early-'70s hard rock, it also leaned a little more toward pop/rock in delivery and song construction than much hard rock of the era did. In that respect, they're a little similar to fellow Canadians the Guess Who, though there aren't many specific similarities between the sounds of the two groups. It's a minor entry in the style, but a decent minor entry, moving along with real guts and convincing riffs, but not at the expense of fair melodies, well-done vocal harmonies, and unusual progressions. At times there are slight echoes of the Who and the hardest-rocking face of the Kinks (with some of the lead and backup vocals casually recalling those of Dave Davies), though there's more of a heartland North American thrust to the music than there is a specifically British feel. Speaking of the Kinks, there's also a faithful cover of "You Really Got Me" that, while the most derivative thing on the album, also inadvertently exposes how Thundermug's own songs aren't quite up to the level of the bigger bands that likely influenced them. Note that the version of Thundermug Strikes [Epic] issued on Epic in the U.S. has a substantially different track listing than the original Canadian version of the LP -- the Epic album is not a straight reissue of the Canadian record, but a mix of tracks from their first two Canadian albums: the original Thundermug Strikes and Orbit.