Kevin Montain

Special Correspondent

Filthy Thunder is like an Adam Sandler movie; 50% of people like it, but when things are about to get serious, it stops and becomes a gag again.

Filthy Thunder is a band that consists of three Holliston High School sophomores: Henry Smith, Rick Brown, and James Denman. The only one that actually plays an instrument is Smith. Smith plays the drums according to sophomore friend, Isiah Simpson.

In most tracks the drum can be heard in the background making a beat, of sorts. To compensate for not playing an instrument Brown and Denman use a synth.

“There’s a synth at Henry’s house. We make sounds on that, make sounds on the drums, then record it. Freestyle in one day, and boom, you’ve got an album,” said Brown.

There is not a serious bone in any of their bodies; they are the real life counter culture of the 60’s, minus the flowing hair, VW wagons, and flower necklaces. All three members are just there and enjoying life; even if two of their inspirations include Che Guevara, the Argentine marxist revolutionary that is now a symbol for rebellion, and Lance Armstrong, a disgraced cyclist, also labeled,“a sociopath on a bicycle,” by Bill Burr.

All three members of the band consider themselves “tall, dark, and handsome.” The issue is only Brown is “tall, dark, and handsome,” Smith is tall and handsome, and Denman is handsome, so their description is not really the most accurate.

In reality, Smith is the tallest and leanest with brown hair, bushy brown eyebrows, and a clever smile. Brown, just slightly behind Smith in the height department is stockier, with bronze skin, black short hair, and a friendly grin. Rounding off is Denman, shorter than the other two by a fair amount and also skinnier, with black hair, and always wearing an expression that says he knows more than he lets on.

Recently this “tall, dark, and handsome” band released a new album, called Kuawation Devastation, for free on Bandcamp.

Filthy Thunder doesn’t easily fit into any genre, due to conflicting opinions on what it should be labeled.

According to Smith, “I would say our genre is like jazz fusion, electronica, piano based, shoegaze, sea punk, meme rap, vapor wave.”

Brown says, “You might be able to classify it as trashy circus music.”

Except Simpson calls it “electronica” and, while unique, compares it to the album “Tokyo Anul Dyanmite” from the Japanese based band The Gerogerigegege.

The genres that pertain to The Gerogerigegege’s are Avant-Garde, experimental, noise, punk rock, musique concréte, performance noise, noise rock, grindcore, industrial, power electronics, ambient, and drone.

Just based on genre names, both bands must be related.

Filthy Thunder’s sound can best be described as a wall of sound; they pretty much use every sound they can get their hands on and will put it anywhere they want. Sometimes the use of these sounds are very experimental and never done before; sometimes for good reason but other times it can sound pretty good.

Kuwation Devastation was pretty much a one day thing.“We recorded 90% of the album in one day,” said Smith.

Cover of Filthy Thunder's most recent album, "Kuwation Devastation"

Cover of Filthy Thunder’s most recent album, “Kuwation Devastation”

The creation of the album is where, things enter the strange, ambiguous sounding, world that this album is in. “Just imagine getting slapped… and then making an album in one day, that’s pretty much what we did,” said Brown.

For comparison, Bruce Springsteen, the famous Jersey rocker, once said that his recording of his albums would include locking himself in the recording studio with his band and they would not leave until they had completed the album.

Maybe both Springsteen and Filthy Thunder could learn something from the other; Bruce could learn that if he gets his 65 year old Jersey-self slapped, then maybe he could write an album in a day. Filthy Thunder could perhaps lock themselves in the recording studio and write a few hits like an ambiguous sounding: “Born to Run,” “Mary’s Place,” “Jungleland,” and/or “Dancing in the Dark.”

Both the time it took to make the album and the creative process all back up a statement about their workmanship. “They put some work into what they do,” said Simpson.

Even if that appears to be the case, that Filthy Thunder puts “some” work into what they do, the public should also be reminded that they produced their own album and Smith also edited their music before publishing it, and editing can take some serious time.

In the future, Filthy Thunder desires to have someone else produce their album.

“We reached out to Randy Jackson, maybe for our sophomore album. Lou Ferrigno, even though he is deaf,” said Smith.

That would be an interesting pairing for producers. Randy Jackson has produced for the likes of Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men, and the Jackson 5. Meanwhile Lou Ferrigno is deaf and couldn’t actually hear whatever he would be producing, which could be seen as good for him and bad for the band.

In addition to finding a producer, they also plan to go on tour in the Middle East where a majority of their fans reside.

“Our fan base is very devoted, mostly from the Middle East. Most of their profile pictures are of anime characters, so they might not be real,” said Brown.

If they are real or not doesn’t matter because Brown also said, “Yeah, we are going on a Middle Eastern tour. It’s gonna be called ‘Michael Jackson’s 25th Anniversary’.”

Fans in the Middle East can look forward to the tour, while fans in America can look forward to the impending lawsuit from the Jackson family.

To keep up with there latest shenanigans follow Filthy Thunder on Facebook and look up some of their work on Bandcamp.


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