Thunderhead - _Ugly Side_
(SPV/Steamhammer, 1999)
by: Paul Schwarz (5.5 out of 10)
Thunderhead have definitely got a handle on the task of creating listenable, foot-tapping hard-rock/metal. There are distinct echoes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, but the thrashier feel, with the aggression more squarely originating from the crotch, which pervades _Ugly Side_ makes comparisons to these classic purveyors of melodic metal seem a little inaccurate. If Thunderhead were aiming to create a solid, unoriginal commercial hard-rock/metal record in an age when most bands shouldn't still be trying to repeat the past in such an unnecessary manner, then they have succeeded, and have done so more successfully than many of the new "reborn in true, heavy, metal" crop have. However, if Thunderhead were trying to give the metal/hard-rock listener of 1999 something he/she hadn't heard before and something he/she couldn't get with more quality from another band, then they have failed. Add the fact that the cover artwork is distinctly unimpressive and that some of the lyrics are rather bad and macho in the most ridiculous way (from the title track, "Yeah, so I'm walkin' down the street / Without a fuckin' care in the world / When this cop pulls up and says "Yoo boy, / What's that blood doin' on your hands?" / Yeah, Mr. Big Balls gotta question me / On a beautiful day about some blood on my hands / So of course my mouth says "Bring on the shit!"") and you're left with a rather unnecessary, though not awful, final product.

(article published 9/12/1999)

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