If someone asked me to come up with a band who was the complete opposite of the new rock you hear on Active Rock radio today, TNT would be at the top of my list. And trust me, that’s a compliment to the Norwegian/American band.
Granted, I’m talking about their sound on the 1987 album “Tell No Tales” where the melodies, harmonies and guitar solos were just completely over the top, in a good way. You’re literally blasted with high-end hooks that will stick to you like super glue.
Norwegian guitarist Ronni Le Tekrø is a very well-respected player in most parts of the world, he took after the guitar heroes of the 70’s and added his own 80’s flare. He’s a shredder by nature but he’s able to keep under restraint when needed. He’s obviously Classically trained or heavily influenced much like Sweden’s Yngwie Malmsteen.
When you add the glass-shattering vocals of American Tony Harnell you have a potent duo already. Their ability to write massive hooks only magnifies the songs into something almost unbelievable. There’s people who will simply hate them for their sound, those people are generally pretty miserable and need something more depressing to relate to. I would describe TNT as “angelic” and even if they’re not a Heavenly band their music seems to be.
“10,000 Lovers (In One)” and “Everyone’s A Star” are two of their most recognizable songs that are loaded with positive vibes and a powerful message. “As Far As The Eye Can See” and “Listen To Your Heart” are right up there too. It’s Power Pop on steroids, it’s sonically enhanced arena rock, whatever you want to call it, TNT does thing musically most bands can’t even imagine doing.
On opposite ends of the spectrum, “Northern Lights” is a magnificent ballad that let’s Harnell really show off his range. The title track “Tell No Tales” is mega fast and shows you how blistering fast Le Tekrø can burn up the fretboard. You rarely hear such diverse songs on an album nowadays and most bands can’t switch it up like this.
Over the years the band has toned down the songs to some degree and explore more territory, which they have done quite well I might add. “Tell No Tales” is a snapshot in time in the 80’s when melody, harmony and musicianship were celebrated and TNT took it further than anyone else dared.