Saturday, 16 July 2011

From the Top Drawer XIX - Thunderdogs

Maybe best remembered (or at least reaching their largest audience) as the house band for Circus Archaos during their Metal Clown production era, the Thunderdogs were birthed in the South London squatting scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Members included musicians who had already cut their performing teeth playing in other free festival/underground bands such as Ozric Tentacles, Ullulators, Webcore, Ring Of Roses & Moksha, and were to move on to play in their turn with the Ozrics, Spannerman, Dream Machine and others...

The band played driving melodic rock largely dominated by Tony's strong vocals and Dan Carpenter's sax playing, and would stretch the songs out to improvise instrumental jams according to the situation, occasionally dipping into spacerock territory where Seaweed's synths would come to the foreground. In 1991 they released both a 12" single, 'Just After Sunrise' and a full-length album, 'Thundermental' recorded at Dave Anderson's Foel Studios in Wales, and released on their own Doctor Dog Records.
The name of the band apparently came from the 1981 comic book drawn by Hunt Emerson, who contributed a hilarious cartoon of the band for the album sleeve of 'Thundermental'.

I caught the band playing atop a motorised high-rise platform as part of the Archaos show, when the not just Big, but gigantic, Top was set up next to Battersea Power Station for a month in late 1991, not long after Archaos had run into big financial problems when their main tent was destroyed by high winds in Dublin, leading to the circus' eventual demise, and (I'm guessing) the breakup of the band as well...

Side One : Name Of The Law / Sabotage / Bowler / I Don't Want The World
Side Two : Socket-Oomi / Jeremia / Blowing Away / Just After Sunrise

Ripped @320kbps from an original cassette as two side-long tracks
(slight glitch at start of Side One)
grab a copy HERE

(Some pics nicked from the Archaos Archive)

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