Lost album comes out of oblivion to cast neon shadows on mighty stomper’s twilight zone.
Never happy to be known only for his bodybuilding successes, Jon Mikl – or Thor – found less transient glory in the world of music, his debut LP “Keep The Dogs Away” going gold in 1977. Following this proved to be problematic, though, as the singer decided to progress from glam rock to heavier pastures, and 1979’s “Electric Eyes” didn’t see the light of day. The story behind the album remains a mystery even now, when it was taken off the shelf and dusted off to shine anew.
Starting with a catchy chug of the “Special Flight” boogie and rolling towards theatrical “Gladiator Romp” to link the songs to Mikl’s sports career, the record is rather lightweight while the likes of its polyphony-filled title track firmly fit into a metal bracket. As Thor’s vocals graciously flutter amid glittery riffs which seem to have come straight from the Chapman and Chinn school of hard rock sweetness, there’s cinematic aggro to “Interception” and a sexy stomp to “She’s A Fancy Lady” whose almost spoken-word verses are resolved into bass-spanked, sleaze-smeared choruses, yet it’s on a cover of “Wild Thing” that the band’s piledriver approach is revealed.
With a strong ’60s influence, the rock ‘n’ rolling “Twitch (Let’s Go)” might feel a tad too simple and let its vigor sag under what sounds like a rough mix, but “Storm” is as energetic as any piece on "Unchained" – a new home for the song “Electric Eyes” that got re-cut as “Laser Eyes” – if not as fleshed out in sonic muscle. Still, “Poison” goes for a groovy routine, and “The Door (Face Behind My Mask)” is an impressive attempt at creating Thor’s mythology which would blossom in the ’80s. It’s good to see the roots of it – in all their glitter.