Why Thundertrain never clawed its way into the American adolescent consciousness back in 1977 has always been mystifying. This group, based in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts at the time, should have run up the middle,and through the hole Aerosmith blasted in the defense a couple years earlier. All leather and attitude, this band sat poised on the brink, a local hit album in its saddlebag and full support from the local media. But it just never happened. Fronted by the irrepressible Mach Bell, who took no lip from anyone and took command at every venue, Thundertrain peddled and pummeled its metal ditties of thigh school love and lust with a basic two-guitar, bass and drums attack that also, surprisingly, featured a generous share of hooks to hang a hit on. Their 1977 album Teenage Suicide sold handily and the band’s local gigs were standing room only, but still, no joy. Bell later sang in the final lineup of the Joe Perry Project and fronted a few Boston outfits afterward, but Thundertrain was always his main passion even after they broke up. The group eventually put it all together again for a string of reunion shows 30 years after the fact and managed to bring the magnificent noise out in full force. But even after all those years, it still seems like Thundertrain (and America) was robbed.
(by Carter Alan)

Published on December 28, 2012