THUNDERCLAP New Album ‘Strange Songs for Strange Times’ Out August 23

THUNDERCLAP’s Strange Songs for Strange Times album features the speaking voice of George Noory in multiple places. Noory is the host of the radio program Coast to Coast AM. If you’ve ever heard this late-night show, you already know about the kinds of people featured on this wild radio program. If there is a UFO apologist, he/she has likely appeared on Noory’s show – maybe even a time or two. Therefore, Noory fits right in the mix of THUNDERCLAP’s songs which are strange, indeed. Strange, yes, but also quite good.

Another radio host that would have felt at home participating in THUNDERCLAP’s musical universe might also be Dr. Demento. Dr. Demento was/is the king of novelty record radio. As a point of reference, Dr. Demento was influential in helping Weird Al break out big time. Stylistically, THUNDERCLAP’s songs are all over the map. Yes, there is plenty of acoustic guitar, underpinning THUNDERCLAP’s wavery singing voice. However, one called “There’ll Be No Dancing” also includes a consistent dance percussion part. Then again, THUNDERCALP’s wildly modulating singing style might keep many from immediately hitting the dance floor.

In the midst of all this intentional weirdness, though, THUNDERCLAP also has some serious issues on his mind. “There’ll Be No Dancing,” for example, includes lyrics that mention how some events remind him of a parent’s death. Then with “We All Lose Someone Sometimes,” he addresses the loss of loved ones directly. This one is sung as a sort of music hall piano piece. While the musical backing is fairly straightforward, THUNDERCLAP doesn’t seem to be able to sing any song straight. He always sounds like he’s hyperactive and just about to become unglued. It takes a strange man to sing strange songs for strange times.

One titled “Be Resurrected Tonight” begins with echoing sounds that sound a little bit like a sci-fi preacher. The song lyric itself reads a little bit like something one might hear in a church. Not your usual church, mind you, but the sort of church THUNDERCLAP might preach in.

THUNDERCLAP is not for everyone, nor is Strange Songs for Strange Times intended for every situation. You can’t, nor should you, listen to these songs in the background. THUNDERCLAP won’t let you. He’s almost like an oversized child, constantly demanding attention. He absolutely must be noticed. He’s like a barker at a carnival, shouting about the various attractions. He wants your attention, then he wants to suck you into his world. He’s like Willie Wonka, exploring the world of pure imagination. In fact, children might appreciate this music more than full grown adults. It’s a wonderful, wacky mixture of words and sounds that all come out of THUNDERCLAP’s slightly off-center mind.

It’s easy to see why George Noory has befriended THUNDERCLAP. Noory, on his show, oftentimes comes off as the sane one in a room of crazies. Nevertheless, he gives these zanies a large audience. THUNDERCLAP has created a fun, funny and fantastic menagerie of sound. It may leave you scratching your head, but you certainly won’t soon forget it.

-Dan MacIntosh