Electric Blues
Thor and the Thundercats - Once in a Blue Moon
Socan 1997
Independent Artist
 
Review Published April 3, 1998
Thor and the Thundercats Official Website



Full CD Audio
Track Listing
1 Kiss and Tell
2 Dangerous
3 Shut Up!
4 Ain't It Strange
5 Blues Crusader
6 Take a Picture
7 Live Today
8 Bad Investment
9 Not Enough
10 Keep On Rollin'
11 Once in a Blue Moon

EB Rating - 3.5

Once in a Blue Moon is a CD composed of entirely original material by Thor and the Thundercats, a local area band from Vancouver, Canada. Thor Kristinnson's somewhat inconsistant vocals get the job done on some songs, but others would benefit from more polish.
While the vocals could use a little help, the rest of the package is very good. Thor's guitar is strong throughout the CD, punctuating the good songs, pulling up the marginal ones. And while I'm not usually a big sax fan, the playing featured here is lively & enjoyable. The boys cut loose on Shut Up!. The repetitive chorus gets a little old, but excellent trade-offs between guitar and sax are the focus of the song.
Other notable songs are Blues Crusader, an up-beat blues shuffle, & Take a Picture, the bands offering in the straight ahead, hard-edged blues department. There is heavy
SRV influence evident in the later, and while this is sometimes taken with disfavor, I think there's nothing wrong with emulating the "great ones", as long as you can pull it off, which Thor does nicely. Bad Investment, a humorous tale of good money gone bad, is another very good tune. The title cut, Once in a Blue Moon, is a nicely done, melancholy blues ballad, although I do feel it's one of the songs that could benefit from stonger vocals.
There's some really good, entertaining music here. All in all, though, this is a good effort. Using all original material, Thor Kristensen has put together a respectable CD. Don't forget to visit their offical website where you can get more info on the band and buy the CD. Below, Thor talks a little about producing that first CD.
Comments from Thor
Regarding the vocals, yes it was mostly due to time/money constraints that I couldn't tune up the weak spots. While more time wouldn't make me a better singer, it would have made things sound a little smoother. I'm not big on overproduction though, I kind of like my blues with a raw edge to it. I would have liked to do some more mixing as well, and I would have played with the bass guitar a little more. I originally recorded 15 cuts of which 11 made it on the CD. A couple that didn't make it on would probably, in hindsight, have been better choices. When you're in a panic to get it done and your budget is used up sometimes you have to go with what you got. Another factor to work in is the people who come and donate their time and play for virtually nothing. You really want to see them on the finished product, even though you're not happy with your own performance. For a first attempt, however, I'm pretty happy. I've certainly learned a lot, and if I'm lucky enough to do another one I'll make the time (somehow) to do some of the things I didn't get to do on this one.
Thor Kristinnson