REPUBLIC DISGRACE - Thunder Express (Razzia)
Robert Dahlquist, guitarist for the great Hellacopters, showed his songwriting abilities with his band Thunder Express on their debut album "We Play For Pleasure" back in 2005.  Now, with this new release Dahlquist and Co get down with some of their own brand of old fashioned, no frills rock and roll.

This band, heavily inspired by the all time greats MC5, Humble Pie, The Stones and The Faces, really sets out to have both fun and deliver a top notch performance. As a result, while their influences are apparent, the band really takes a step forward and showcases their collective talent on their sophomore release.  

Starting things off, 'Republic disgrace" is a great opener to the album - a balls-out rocker. Taking a cue from both The Solution and The Hellacopters, and in general from the aforementioned greats, the album has got that element all supreme rock action possess: bluesy background vocals and keyboards. The band uses these elements to full advantage on the tracks "Leaving with Ease" and "Pick It Up".

Thunder Express vocalist Robert Pehrsson allows the band to explore a different side of the band on the track "Matrimotion".  The song is a bluesy number that explores feelings of change -  sadness. The track has got a Clapton type of mood; after all, didn't he write the book on the blues rock canon?  Pehrsson is a very capable vocalist and brings alot of emotion to the tracks.  

Another highlight is  "New York Gold" and it's a great example of what makes Dahlquist such a great musician. Apart from the obvious, that being a great guitar player, he excels at writing power-pop that is heavy, catchy and sticks in your head for days on end. Another track in the same vein, "From Pleasure to Pain", starts off with a guitar intro and heads into a driving, foot stomping song.

The album closes with "Panic" that conjures a sparse, desolate type of mood and features both great vocals by Pehrsson and guitarwork by Dahlquist. Also, as a sidenote, "Republic Disgrace" is notable for guest contributions from both Mattias Barjed, Ebbot Lundberg, Martin Hederos (TSOOL) and Mattias Hellberg.  In closing, Thunder Express will be a band to closely watch  for touring dates. The material on both of their releases I am sure will translate into a great show in the live setting. The band has produced a very good follow up to their debut CD. - Arthur S