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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Thunderdikk

Magnum Love

Review by Rick Damigella

When was the last time you had fun listening to a band? I’m talking about real fun. I don't mean sort of fun. I mean the kind of fun that makes you want to stand up (even if you are driving) and play an unabashed air guitar solo or pump your fist at an air audience while singing into your air microphone like you were part of the band. Magnum Love, the debut album from Thunderdikk delivers that kind of fun in an extra-large package. Thunderdikk rocks in the traditional five-man formation, with dual guitars for maximum head banging effectiveness. While we have featured Thunderdikk here in a previous edition of MSJ, it makes sense to remind you, dear reader, of who Thunderdikk is: Vocalist Dikk Thunder (no, really, that’s his name), lead guitarist Sleaze Paladino, rhythm guitarist Johnny Razor, Mickey Brunswick on bass and Snake “Skin” Paladino on drums. Should you find yourself becoming a fan, be proud in the knowledge that you are officially a Dikkhead in the eyes of the band.

At first glance and listen you might be tempted to say "oh, they're doing an 80s metal shtick.” And you couldn't be more wrong, because Thunderdikk plays with more musical talent than two dozen forgotten Sunset Strip metal bands combined. They back up their declaration of being "the last living rock band" with well-placed riffage, blistering guitar solos and sing-a-long choruses all packed into songs that you want to hear over and over again. I'm not exaggerating by saying I spun the album three times in a row during my first listen. Two things that elevate Thunderdikk well above bands that play in a similar mode are its vocalist and lead guitarist. Dikk Thunder is a true front man who knows how to command a stage. By the end of a live performance he and the band can have the entire audience, even first timers, rocking out and having a really good time. Lead guitarist Sleaze Paladino has guitar chops that most wannabe axe slingers could only dream of having. He plays with the passion and authority of someone raised in the golden age of metal, but who, instead of just emulating his heroes, carved out his own niche in the six-string spectrum. Throughout the album, Paladino proves with his playing that there are still unexplored riffs and solos to be played; something many of his forebears seem to have either forgotten or eschew for lack of their own creativity.

Before we get into the track-by-track; a word of caution. Thunderdikk is NSFW, Not Safe for your mom, not safe for small animals and not safe for your girlfriend if you take natural male enhancement. Ok, kidding about that last part, sort of anyway. There are overtly naughty themes in their lyrics and song titles with words you wouldn’t say in front of grandma. If you aren't easily offended and don't mind hearing about Dikk Thunder’s horizontal exploits then, great! You are ready to find out why this should be considered the party album of 2011 or at least what makes listening to Thunderdikk the most fun you can have standing up.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Magnum Love

This all-killer, no-filler album kicks off with a blazing riff wrapped tightly around an ode to extra large condoms and breaking beds. The shout along chorus and the first of many solos worthy to be played on your air guitar set the tone perfectly for the further debauchery to come.

I Am The Thunderf***er

Not only does this song have instant earworm factor; its killer riffage is of the kind that all other bands of Thunderdikk’s ilk that came before should be ashamed of themselves for not thinking of first. This is among the most sing-along-able songs on the album, it also features a searing lead guitar section.

The Dikk Abides (If The Ladies Provide)
In yet another rocking example of a welcome earworm, Thunderdikk proves there are still catchy, hook laden riffs to be found upon the fret boards and vocal lines that make you want to sing like you are a part of the band.
Bad Hands
There’s nothing like a greasy western-tinged guitar riff to kick things off. From the school of slower paced sleaze rock, the melody chugs along with a near drunken groove, and a down and dirty guitar line throughout.
Bra Off Party On

Here’s the band’s break out hit. Snake Paladino’s cowbell and drum intro segues into a bacchanalia of guitars and “Heys!” setting the mood for this ode to the body part with more euphemisms than you can shake a pair of them at. In what some would call cross-marketing and others would say was being smart, Thunderdikk released this song on the Rock Band Network for your plastic guitar fingering pleasure. Someday this will only be played live after their audiences demand an encore.

Love Fight

And you thought all the songs were going to be about sex. This one is a page torn from the hair metal playbook of songs about long haired boys and girls not getting along despite being in love, but it’s no whiny lighter ballad. Instead this piece is crunchy and quick paced with a gnarly guitar solo and plenty more opportunities to sing as you listen.

Sister Dolores

For the best example of Sleaze Paladino’s guitar abilities, you need only listen to this track.  Now, just ignore the lyrics about Dikk’s school boy adventures with a naughty nun for a minute and let the music sink in. Beyond the killer chord progression put down by Sleaze and rhythm guitarist Johnny Razor, lies a whip-blistering solo which likely left Paladino’s guitar doing Hail Marys in its case after it allowed such sin to be born of its strings.

Nightfire

Bassist Mickey Brunswick gets to pluck off some down and dirty four-string action to intro “Nightfire.” This was among the three tracks which appeared on their original EP, and has benefited greatly from a re-recording for this release.

Route 69

This is an innocent little number about a man and his motorcycle driving down the highway. Yeah, right. With a title leaving little to the imagination of what this song is really about, it delivers on all cylinders, from the opening chords to the closing siren wails.

Hot Zombie F***

Opening on a pulsating bass line, the guitarists tear into their lowest tunings on the album for a pounding riff which drives this musical dedication to girls with daddy issues and spider web tattoos who work part time at the mall. Thunderdikk pounds out one of its best numbers with this one.

Ride My Lightning

Here’s a full tilt rocker, improved upon greatly since its initial iTunes EP release, which carries on the proud tradition of entendre in your face. Funnily enough, the selective self-editing of obvious rhymes makes this one of the cleanest songs on the album!

Ocho (The Eighth Wonder Of The World)

Anyone else extolling the virtues of how great they are at the horizontal mambo would just sound silly, but when Thunderdikk does it, it makes perfect sense. Sleaze Paladino unleashes a face melting solo.

My Name Is Dikk

Truly epitomizing the Thunderdikk experience, consider this their theme song or calling card, if you will. Like every track on Magnum Love, this should be experienced at appropriately obnoxious volume. This particular number is two and a half minutes of full-fledged awesome, with a guitar solo that just might leave you with a burning sensation.

 
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