The Spanish Sessions To compliment their short UK tour, Luke Morley (Thunder) and Andy Taylor (ex Duran Duran and Power Station), have managed to produce a limited edition demo CD containing four of their new songs (that they have written together sometime over the last couple of years).   It is entitled "The Spanish Sessions" and it appears to be created with their own finance (and only 1,000 copies manufactured).  Up to now, it has just been available at the gigs or via their web site  Here are my thoughts and feelings on the new material.
01 "Quiet Life" is a gentle romp through some nice rolling cords and a laid back rhythm.  It is a song that must sum up the feelings of Andy and Luke, when they were at Andy's Spanish retreat where the songs where written.  It is basically about just relaxing by the pool in the sun and not giving too much of a damn about anything really.  People shout and rant about this and that, but why the hell be bothered about it, life is far too short.   I have been there and done that, now it is time to chill, regardless what anyone thinks.... and the sun shines on.

It features a nice melody that ambles it's way through the song, with a pleasant background of acoustic guitar and really does capture the mood.  The interjection of electric guitar gives it an edge that cuts nicely into a sweet solo and keeps you interested.

02 "Lightning", starts with a quiet acoustic guitar in the left hand speaker and then Andy's vocals appears in the right, until the sound pans out and the drum/bass join the song.  It is a fairly standard mellow rock lick with an almost country-ish slide guitar thrown in, not really that strong a song.   Again quite a laid back feel to the song but this time it's the subject of love, which kinda drags a little.  It really is not that bad, but equally is not the best track on the CD.

03 "Cant Stop The Rain", is my favourite track.   Immediately breaking into a almost Latin beat with really good guitar sound and excellent melody, reminded me of something Santana could of written, a very memorable and (dare I say) danceable song.  It includes noticeable backing vocals by Tara and Anna McDonald, which compliment quite nicely.  For me though, the guitar sound and the solo's are magical and really give out an electric emotional feeling with a contrast of old and new styles of play, excellent.  The song has a similar sentiment to "Quiet Life", in so much as the 'no worries' vibe.  It seem to be about how things can kinda get on top of you.  How sometimes you have bad days and you seem to work hard in your life and have very little to see for it.  But, don't worry and moan, cause what's gonna happen will happen and you ain't gonna stop it, just go with the flow and tomorrow will be better.  Basically, channel your energies positively, don't just complain about the inevitable.

The guitars are the thing that do it for me, that sound is most excellent, well constructed and a nice rhythm that is decorated with top class guitar playing.  The heavy distortion, mixed with well timed solos that just give you the goosbumps, are that sensual experience that makes you continue to listen to music. It was only bettered when I heard the track live on their tour.

04 "Sleeping With The Past" starts with a Spanish "arreeba" type shriek and soon trundles into a steady mid-paced rhythm that again has a mix of both acoustic and electric guitar.  It then breaks into a typical rock and roll riff, kinda 'Faces' type stuff and again more slide guitars, this time rock and roll not country.  This is a fairly standard rock tune that is fun, but not really that strong or memorable.  As the title suggests is about looking forward not backward and forgetting what has gone on before.

This CD is a fine assortment of new songs that are outside the normal scope of what Thunder would produce, but still retains the unmistakable hallmarks of the people who have written the songs.  It is a very nice collectors item for the real Thunder fans to treasure.  Generally, the songs are well played and although the mix and production is a little on the rough side (after all it is a demo), they come across very well.  It must put in a nutshell the feelings of the guys when they were writing and producing the stuff, and has the flavour of where it was created.   My only real complaints would be the occasional flatness of Andy's vocals (he performs all the vocals but struggles slightly at times), and a weakness in the writing quality that is suggested in the odd song.  However, I believe that this CD is the precursor to an album release, that promises to feature more studio recordings of the songs they performed live, which is nice.  I really look forward to that...

7/10 Rigsby.