Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crank In The Summer With Thunderbolt Patterson

Thunderbolt Patterson
The LP Is Dead
No Fun Records

The seemingly endless cycle of snowstorms, icestorms, and being stuck indoors has finally come to an end. The sun is peaking out and warming the pavement all over the country. What does that mean? It's time for some top down, wind in your hair, rock 'n' roll! It's time for Thunderbolt Patterson's new album The LP Is Dead and it's loud, power chord hooks that are too good to sit inside with. If you know "Rockaway Beach", then you'll dig into "Almost Summer" on the way there with Ramonesish guitars and Beach Boys harmonies.

Leave it to an original NY '70s punk to take things backwards to its simplest elements. Chords, hooks, loud, fun, take the top down, simple punk powerpop, with some exceptional drumming on tracks like "Dynamo" with the accompaniment "Remember being parked outside your house, and I spilled a 40 all over your blouse." Ahhh, memories! Don't worry, the act is not being glorified. "Dynamo" is more about Patterson making fun of himself.

The title track is a catchy sing-a-long lament (??) about short term attention spans and the devaluation of media. We've heard the theme. Nothing new, but this version's a lot more fun! The follow up "On and On" is the same: catchy, but with some groovy, soul keyboards. Ok, this isn't rocket science, but we need simple fun. We need loud, simple, fun sing alongs again. However, this album is too much fun to hear in the background. The songs make you want to stomp your feet, crank it up, go outside, and throw/crash a party. "Getting Out" rocks in the way that makes you pick up the air guitar and throw out Guitar Hero (I sincerely hope none of you own that).

If The LP Is Dead with its throw back to simplicity (and this review, for that matter) come across as an "I remember the good old days" moan, consider the fact that great rock 'n' roll for the past 40 years has been deconstruction. Garage, punk, and the flavors that came out of it were created out of stripping things down and going back to the beginning. The good shit always steps into the future by looking backwards, but who else but the drummer for The Dictators to remind us that this is supposed to be fun, and what's fun without a party anthem? How about "When you could use a little leverage, all you need is one beverage" from "One Beverage."

11 tracks of loud punk/powerpop with solid guitar and drum punches. Some occasional wailing metal solos for your hesher buddies on "On The Tip", but your pals will also be singing along until they realize you caught them. The closing "Four Pair" nearly approaches Southern Rawk in its guitarosity.

Tracks like "Hand Grenade Around My Heart" should not be listened to in confined spaces like airplanes. The LP Is Dead is too much fun to listen to in closed quarters. Either wait until the party or vacation starts unless you're heading down the highway with the top down.

This is essential Spring/Summer listening.

The LP Is Dead is available from your local indie record store and directly from the only label that rocks enough to have Thunderbolt, No Fun Records.

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