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Thor: Electric Eyes

Having debuted in 1977 with Keep The Dogs Away, Jon Mikl Thor and his band set about recording a follow up in the shape of 1979’s Electric Eyes. However, for reasons unknown the band’s second album was shelved and over the next six years Thor morphed from the straight up hard rock of their debut to the muscle and sword metal of 1985’s Only The Strong.

Thought to have been lost, Electric Eyes has now been set free some 39 years after it was first intended to be released and for the uninitiated, the garage meets proto-rock that all bumps eagerly into something a lot more in the traditional rock n’ roll vein, may well be a shock from an outfit who have over the years been lumped in with the likes of Manowar. Unsurprisingly lo-fi in construction, the simple but earnest attack of the album’s title cut is really quite endearing, a clear liking for Beach Boys harmonies combined to an early jangle of punk guitars. “Special Flight” continues down that track, although it’s maybe a little more adventurous in construction, while “She’s A Fancy Lady” adds a little glamtastic shimmer to proceedings.

Clearly an influence throughout, it’s no real shock when a workable, if hardly earth shattering cover of The Troggs “Wild Thing” grinds into view, while “Storm” does a good job at hinting at something a little more rocking, even if the chorus is pure 60s pop. Of all the unexpected diversions this albums takes, it’s maybe Thor himself and his controlled, melodic voice that catches you off guard, with a really strong, if still intentionally fragile vocal delivery a really clever touch to the overall sound. Something that is especially true in “Gladiator Romp”, which is possibly the only moment that hints at what Thor did next, even if it is an ever so subtle suggestion.

Things don’t always go to plan, “Poison” a little too twee to convince, while “The Door (Face Behind The Mask)” plods a little too heavily to hold the interest. However, in general, while Electric Eyes is more nice than it is captivating, it does hold up pretty well. As expected, considering its age and ‘missing in action’ status, in terms of sound things are ever so slightly ropey (although much better than a lot of retrospective releases from recent times), while the recording itself is pretty simple even by late 70s standards, leaving it difficult to know who is really going to be that excited by this release. Long standing Thor fans will maybe be a little befuddled by the lack of a metallic bite offered up here, while fans of the garage/proto-rock/early punk meets glam sound Electric Eyes provides, are hardly likely to jump all over a Thor release. If you fall into either category however, give this album a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Track Listing
1. Special Flight
2. She's A Fancy Lady
3. Interception
4. Wild Thing
5. Electric Eyes
6. Twitch (Let's Go)
7. Storm
8. Poison
9. The Door (Face Behind My Mask)
10. Gladiator Romp

Added: July 7th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Electric Eyes @ bandcamp
Hits: 830
Language: english

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