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CD REVIEW: THOR – I Am Thor [Soundtrack]

| 9 April 2016 | Reply

CD REVIEW: THOR – I Am Thor [Soundtrack]
Deadline Music/Cleopatra Music
September 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

I Am Thor CD cover

We’ve not seen last year’s supposedly excellent documentary film about Jon Mikl Thor, the bodybuilding ‘80s metal singer who attempted a comeback after ten years out of the limelight – a comeback which almost killed him.

We did, however, get our hands on this excellent soundtrack to the film, which covers Thor’s early days playing garage-pop (We Are Body Rock/Start The Show as Mikl Body Rock, the excellent Hey Tonight as bassist with The Ticks, and the cheeseball fun of Do The Muscle, recorded as Thor & the Imps. Lux & Ivy would love this latter one), glam rock (Keep The Dogs Away) and through his popular career as proto-power metal legend.

Over two ‘80s albums Thor practically invented the Gladiator Rock genre which would be adopted by Manowar, Armored Saint and others, and which would evolve into power metal.

Never content with being merely a musician, Thor subscribed to the Alice Cooper party line of delivering a SHOW, so whilst snakes and guillotines weren’t his thing, the former Mr Canada and Mr USA body builder revelled in treating his audiences to strongman feats such as bending metal bars in his teeth, tearing phone directories in half and inflating hot water bottles with his powerful lungs until they burst.

This period makes up about a third of this compilation, covering favourites Lightning Strikes Thor and Anger from 1983’s Unchained, and Only The Strong, Thunder On The Tundra and Let The Blood Run Red from 1985’s Only The Strong.

A couple of tracks from his 2002 album Triumphant (Thunderhawk and War Hammer), and the title tracks from both 2006’s Devastation Of Musculation and 2015’s Metal Avenger prove Thor is still full of vigour and possessing a pair of lungs to put any kids to shame.

More than a ‘Best of’ I Am Thor charts the progression of a talented artist who never made it big, with those first few little-known garage pop tracks providing the greatest insight into where Thor came from musically. Similarly, the final clutch of tracks show yet another side to the man, as he goes gonzo punk in collaboration with North Carolina punk hooligans The Ass Boys for Fucking & Fighting and Shit The Pants, with hilarious Black Flag-like results. It’s Thor, Jim – but not as we know him.

Finally, Crunch, Crunch, Yum, Yum is another quirky piece, ostensibly the title track to a comic the young Jon made in homage to healthy eating. Again, it shows a precocious talent that was determined to find its niche, even if it is a million miles removed from the music which eventually gave him his fame.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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