Published on July 25th, 2018 | by Justin G.
TNT: XIII (Frontiers)
A lot has gone on in the TNT camp since their last studio album (2010’s surprisingly not terrible Engine). They parted ways with replacement singer Tony Mills, reunited with Tony Harnell, parted ways with Tony Harnell (rinse and repeat), and then regrouped with previously unknown Spanish singer Baol Bardot Bulsara. They’re finally out with a new album, titled XIII.
TNT didn’t get all too creative in titling their thirteenth studio album, and they clearly didn’t spend their cover artwork budget, but it’s the music that matters. The only question is what kind of TNT album we’re going to get? My Religion and All The Way To The Sun proved the band was capable of greatness in the modern era, but The New Territory and Atlantis proved that when guitarist Ronnie Le Tekro gets creative the results can be…unpleasant. XIII is somewhere between the two sounds, and while it is quirky and unpredictable at times, the songs are, for the most part, quite good.
XIII sounds like classic TNT with just enough of a Queen vibe to keep things interesting. For his part, Bulsara fits the band and the sound quite nicely. Sure, in a perfect world we’d be hearing Tony Harnell sing these songs, and I’d argue Tony Mills could have done them justice as well. Still, Bulsara hits some impressive highs and demonstrates a really nice range here. The album has some songs that are too weird for their own good (see: “17th of May”), but by and large it’s the enjoyable melodic rockers like the electric “We’re Gonna Make It,” and ultra-catchy “Catch a Wave” and “Get Ready For Some Hard Rock” that make the biggest impression.
It may zig when you expect it to zag, but overall XIII is a lot of fun. It will have haters right out of the gate, but if you give the album a fair chance, it’s likely you’ll find plenty to like about it. It’s good to have TNT back making quality melodic rock again.
Summary: A little eccentric, but it works