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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Thor - 1977 Keep The Dogs Away
Thor - 1977 Keep The Dogs Away

ALBUM: Keep The Dogs Away
LABEL: MCA/Midsong
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2008, Scratch Records, Scratch 56


LINEUP: Thor - lead vocals * John Shand - guitars, six string bass * Terry McKeown - bass * Billy Wade - drums * David Munkhoff - guitar * Barry Keane - percussion * The Tootonic Chorale - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Keep The Dogs Away * 02 Sleeping Giant * 03 Catch A Tiger * 04 I'm So Proud * 05 Tell Me Lies * 06 Military Matters * 07 Superhero * 08 Wasted * 09 Rosie * 10 Thunder


It's been literally been ages since I last gave 'Keep The Dogs Away' a spin and in preparation for this review I was surprised, ok shocked to find Thor has continued raining his cartoonish hard rock thunder on the rock world well into the twenty first century. How did that happen? Seriously, I rarely gave the Canadian ex-bodybuilder a thought beyond this, his second LP although I do remember a couple releases in the 1980's and an odd amount of coverage in Kerrang for what appeared to be nothing more than comic levity in many instances. All in good fun, even his embarrassingly amateurish videos are mildly entertaining and the fact he's still touring is a testament to Thor's marketing intuition. Indeed, Thor in recent years has become a small-time merchandising machine; a life-size living and breathing not to mention aging comic book character with a truckload of CD's, DVD's and T-shirts for what appears to be a dyed in the wool cult following tailor made for the WWF crowd.

The Songs
Certainly not as heavy as the cover and fold-out poster of the original pressing would suggest; 'Keep the Dogs Away' owes its pedigree to English glam than yesterday's metal. The production while a bit dull, isn't a total wash and early Alice Cooper, the Billion Dollar Babies album and Spiders From Mars can be dusted off as references and although there's some rocking stuff here including the rumbling boogie of the title track, nothing on this slab 'o plastic is earthshakingly good. Thor's vocals are the big bugaboo; doppelganging Lou Reed on 'Sleeping Giant' one minute and Bryan Ferry on Catch A Tiger' the next. All well and good if the man could sing but he can't, at least not very well sounding flat throughout. Side two has its moments including 'Military Matters' which rocks solid although 'Superhero' and 'Wasted' are awful songs, the latter an ode to substance love or loving himself, I can't figure out which since it sounds like Thor's stroking his Hammer throughout the torturous near-on four minutes and really, I don't want to know. Lastly 'Thunder' with its humorously heroic lyrics and psychedelic Iron Butterfly dirge-like riff closes the album and not too soon.

In Summary
Still, I give Thor credit for longevity. As the story goes the God of Thunder opened for KISS in Toronto prior to this album's release and it's obvious he picked up on that band's love for capitalism and their ability to market themselves at levels rarely seen before. While Thor will never achieve the same status, he's one of the more interesting characters to play the hard rock sweepstakes in the last few decades and begrudgingly I might just check out some of his other releases. Don't tell anyone.

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#1 | Eric on January 10 2012 00:29:19
Thor - 1977 Keep The Dogs Away
#2 | swazi on January 10 2012 18:11:19
Ha ha .., this video is funny! Well, a joke really ..... Smile
#3 | david on January 11 2012 03:37:35
I bought this, along with other forgettable vinyl, such as Kevin Wet 'Babies in the night'.
#4 | gdazegod on January 11 2012 04:57:44
It has all the makings of WWF theater!
#5 | dangerzone on January 11 2012 07:20:29
I thought some of his 80's stuff was pretty good, 'Only the Strong' especially. The claim on Wikipedia that it sold 10 million copies worldwide is amusing.
#6 | englandashes on January 12 2012 12:09:46
Don't let this man get near your hot water bottle!
#7 | sabace on January 13 2012 18:56:43
I have unchained cd and its a really excellent hard rock lp!
#8 | gdazegod on January 14 2012 00:35:09
Well then, it looks as if THOR is deserving of more reviews according to some of you.. lol!
#9 | Eric on January 14 2012 04:38:58
Didn't see that coming. Really? lol!
#10 | Harvey Mettle on January 16 2012 09:49:13
Second album Eric? I always thought that this was his first?
#11 | Eric on January 16 2012 12:33:25
Thor and the Imps- 'Muscle Rock'- 73? 74?. Never seen or heard it, but supposedly included Frank Soda on guitar. Soda later released a couple albums as Frank Soda and the Imps too.
#12 | sabace on January 21 2012 20:08:17
I always find the references to money in a Kiss context amusing! I could be wrong but it is called the music industry right and bands do sign contracts and get royalties! or are everybody else
altruistic .
#13 | tompa on July 02 2012 11:37:02
Those moves at the intro are funny stuff. Wasn't able to concentrate on the music from then on.
#14 | super80boy on July 13 2013 19:23:39
Entertaining glam rock cheeky stuff from this ex Mr. Canada and USA body builder. I'm sure he was a big Bowie fan. From the looks of it, he has had quite a successful career. Some albums come with a poster.
#15 | gdazegod on July 13 2013 22:46:26
He got a bit of press back in the day. Looks wise, sort of reminded me of Jim Dandy.
#16 | aaasreg on August 12 2014 10:15:24
#17 | englandashes on July 01 2015 22:25:34
Picked up an issue of Iron fist magazine, which including a feature on Thor, seems a movie has been made, following his comeback. The guy is now in his early 60's.
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