4 out of 5 Stars!
Although Pink Cream 69—this hard-edged yet melodic act from Germany—released its first album back in 1989, the group has (oddly) yet to achieve the worldwide acclaim it so richly deserves.
On Thunderdome, the band’s ninth studio album, tuneful barnstormers such as “Retro Lullaby,” “Gods Come Together,” “Shelter,” “Another Wrong Makes Right,” a slamming version of The Knack’s “My Sharona,” and the (yes, I had to say it) thundering title track provide a wealth of sing-along choruses, memorable riffs, hang-banging’ beats, and sparkling guitar solos. And with magnetic vocalist David Readman (Adagio/Voodoo Circle/Missa Mercuria) behind the mic since the mid-’90s, the band’s vocals are also instantly recognizable, both on the aforementioned tracks as well on the mid-tempo rockers “See Your Face,” “Carnaby Road,” and “As Deep As I Am,” and on the enchanting power ballad “That Was Yesterday.”
Therefore, how this group never achieved “household name” status in America is a mystery to me, considering that Pink Cream 69 produces music in a similar realm as, for example, Whitesnake and Winger, bands with a similar style that broke in the States. Instead, the band suffered the same fate as other talented groups in the same genre such as Gotthard, Harem Scarem, Sunstorm, and Jaded Heart, never quite garnering American accolades, despite their consistently enjoyable output. Perhaps timing had something to do with the low name recognition, considering Pink Cream 69 popped up just as the Grunge obsession began in America, or possibly a general lack of promotion, or even the band’s land of origin, likely making it difficult for touring. As I said, a mystery.
Well, whatever the answer, Pink Cream 69 continues to deliver some of the finest, well-produced, and well-performed music one album after the other, and 2004’s Thunderdome (to me) is one of the best of the batch.