Review by Tymell for Thin Lizzy - Thunder and Lightning (1983)
Thin Lizzy were well into their career by this point, though I assume like many, my primary exposure to the band prior to this was through their more well known hits like "The Boys are Back in Town" or their version of the ballad "Whisky in the Jar".
Certainly, Thunder & Lightning doesn't feel too terribly far removed from those. It's 80s hard rock with enough of a NWOBHM spice to pass at times, especially in the frequently flashy guitar work ("Cold Sweat" being a sterling example). It's also a good dose of it for those who have had enough of more sleazy shock rock of the era; there's a certain level of restraint and even respectability about this. But there's also not a lot of weight or character to the music on show here. It's fine, but that's often all it is: just 'fine'. There's the occasional hook but not a lot, and songs like "Bad Habits" can be enjoyable, but they just don't leave much of an impact behind them.
The one real exception is "The Holy War". The constant beat there really does conjure the image of a march to war by an army of righteous crusaders, and it's catchy as hell to boot. Definitely the stand-out of the album. The title track also does strive for something a bit meatier than much of the rest, but the metalhead in me still craves something more.
To be clear, it's not an issue of Thunder & Lightning "not being metal enough" or the like. There's plenty of good rock material from this era, but Thunder & Lightning just plays it too safe to be anything more than passable.
Choice cuts: The Holy War, Cold Sweat