Thursday, May 21, 2009

pretty bad review from delusions of adequacy

Is it possible to be dangerous in rock ‘n’ roll anymore? Thunders’ lead singer and songwriter Ryan Reidy certainly thinks so. With the presumptuous swagger and supreme confidence of Russell Brand, Reidy struts and strikes poses throughout the six tracks on The Sympathetic Oscillations EP to tiresome results. Equal parts The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols, the Indianapolis, IN quartet finds no new ground to dig and barely manages to tread water with the aforementioned bands’ prima donna inclinations and propensity for drugged-fueled psychedelia. Reidy’s grating drawl slobbers all over Thunders’ wahed, washed out guitars and half-baked drums, sounding more like Wolf Parade’s prepubescent sneers than Marc Bolan’s sensual come-hithers. It results in an EP brimming with attitude and lacking in inspiration.

To be fair, Reidy recorded The Sympathetic Oscillations EP on his own, leaving himself to his own indulgences without the aid of another ear to ground him. He nails the loose bloozy sound he’s going for, but listeners have heard this before. A lot. It’s been done to death so many times before by so many better bands. Reidy tries to channel rock’s best ambassadors of sex and menace but falls short. If he forced himself to go out on a limb every once and a while, he might find himself making music that was a bit more uneven but potentially more remarkable, maybe even “dangerous”.

The songs do little to distract from Reidy’s irritating warble. “83” starts off like Wire’s “Strange” before descending into a heap of guitars buzzing around a bumbling riff like flies on a dog turd. Most of the tracks on The Sympathetic Oscillations EP fail to move beyond this swirling sameness, as if Reidy took a hippie drum circle and replaced the stoned, third rate bongo beaters with stoned, third-rate psych guitarists. If Reidy intended on making a splash with The Sympathetic Oscillations EP, he succeeded only in creating a venue for his own vainglorious ramblings. I’d rather attend an open mic night at a community college coffee shop than listen to another lyric like “We’ve got a love that’s deep in our hearts” ever again. Perhaps the recent addition of other opinionated musicians to fill out Thunders’ live setup will temper Reidy’s knack for hackneyed riffage and warmed over words.

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