Artist: The Thunderlords
Album: Noisy songs for noisy kids
Genre: Children's (ages 5-13)
So what do you get when you take the musical vibe of GWAR, S.O.D. The Dickies, a few punk bands, mix it all up and write lyrics for kids age 5 – 10? You get the Thunderlords and their debut release ‘Noisy songs for noisy kids’.
With heavy riffs in a punk/thrash vein, fast rhythms, a growling voice sliced with a few soft and gentle notes, this debut release may well be on its way to conquering stereo sets in most households across the nation.
The Thunderlords is the first Kid’s Metal Band and is the brainchild of Alan Flores, a veteran punk and metal guitarist, bassist, writer, producer and devoted parent of two.
Throughout the late 80s and 90s, Flores made a vital and lasting impact on the Los Angeles scene with the thrash punk group Guttersnipe, and then later on with the metal-flavoured Superhate, and lastly with Half Eaten - a post punk/alternative rock house.
The idea for this album however was born out of frustration; Flores felt there was no music out there that bridged the gap between what kids and parents were listening to, and more importantly, there was nothing out there that kids were digging that didn’t make their parents cringe.
So, he decided to do something about it, and in the process he created music both age groups could enjoy together, while being educational and fun at the same time. He wanted a real metal band, with silly lyrics appropriate for all ages.
Flores had the help of his five-year-old daughter Maya in both the lyrics department for the ‘Song about nothing’ and with back-up vocals on a few tunes as well.
The theme of the music and the band revolves around big costumes - Flores’s attire is that of a Viking, hence a few songs on the album have a Viking theme.
Needless to say ‘Table Manners for Vikings’ is brilliant, riff changes come at lightening speed, and how in the world does Flores sing so fast is beyond me, it is short and leaves you breathless. That’s a classic!
‘Ole man Olaf’ is to the tune of Old Macdonald, with a nice chirpy, mellow verse – so quiet and conservative, but one solid thrashy chorus, it had me humming and stamping along.
‘I Like Dirt’ is an ode to kids who like playing with dirt; the best lyrical point was ‘I’ll go outside to play with dirt again’.
‘Ice Cream headache’ warns all who dare to eat ice cream to please slow down; you might get a headache (that happened to me, friday at the movies, but anyway).
‘Eat Vegetables’ for the most part is to the tune of ‘Run to the Hills’ by (one of my favourite metal bands) Iron Maiden, it is dedicated to teaching kids the value of eating healthy, something most adults don’t even do.
Flores didn’t have to look far for critical approval – his kids Maya and Diego gave him the green light go ahead. From henceforth, Flores has been promoting the record hither and thither. Flores also discovered an entire subculture of people who bought metal merchandise for the kids (t-shirts, pacifiers, bibs, etc), he’s linked about 20 sites to the Thunderlords’ own website and this has helped increase the band’s following.
The album has spawned two satellite radio hits thus far on XM Radio Station – XM Kids. ‘I Like Dirt’ is featured in the video game ‘Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland’ available on PS2, Xbox and Gamecube.
Songs are available for download on iTunes, Sony Connect and other online retailers.
Flores plans a tour after the follow up to Noisy Songs, hopefully soon, we’ll all be saying ‘All hail, the Thunderlords!’