Goodthunder - s/t. 1972 USA

At its core, Los Angeles based Goodthunder are a straight up hard rock band, with folk and pop trimmings. If that's all they were about, then they certainly wouldn't be reviewed by me. No, Goodthunder weren't content to settle for lowest common denominator music to strictly appeal to the masses. With a prominent keyboardist in the band, and a wide range of dynamics, time shifts, and colors - Goodthunder somehow managed to create a sophisticated hard rock album when no one was paying attention. And the guitar is pretty heavy for the era, including some nice riffing, in an almost proto-NWOBHM metal style. Not to mention the chunky Hammond organ moments (a bit like the Krautrock Message on their first 2 albums). There's even a bit of late 60s psych carrying over, as found in the vocal harmonies. The progressive breaks are - especially given the setting - quite surprising, and it's these kind of contrasts that makes this album work on a number of levels. In some ways, you could almost compare Goodthunder to what Culpeper's Orchard were doing in Denmark. They never quite reach those highs (and who does really?), but it's definitely in that ballpark. 'P.O.W.' and 'Barking at the Ants' are right near the top of the mountain. Get it.

Personal collection
LP: 1972 Elektra

Originals are housed in a single sleeve and come with a lyric insert. There is also a CD reissue on Wounded Bird (2009) that I might pick up eventually.

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