Jon Mikl Thor is endlessly entertaining and the fucking epitome of overlooked and under-appreciated. If you aren’t familiar with the man and his namesake band Thor, there’s an amazingly enduring and entertainingly bonkers documentary on Netflix called I am Thor chronicling the man’s life from the 70’s professional body building, performer, nude waiter (yup) part of his career, the formation of his band Thor, the dissolution of his band, and the subsequent reformation, and all the crazy trials and tribulations he’s gone through. Thor faces it all with utter enthusiasm and his “by any means necessary” attitude, and constant persistence. His overall charming personality make him the underdog you have to root for. I respect Thor endlessly.
Recently the Thor band rolled through town and I finally got a chance to witness the man in person. And it was fucking amazing. Crammed into a little corner of a local dive bar, Thor blasted through all his massively entertaining, cheesy “hits” with full energy and his trademark Canadian charm and blew the fucking roof off that place. It was everything I could have wanted, complete with ridiculous costumes, endless technical difficulties, and the man himself stopping to shake everybody’s hand as they left the bar. God damn, Thor rules.
Among the merchandise I bought from him, the Metal Avenger album from 2015 was the highlight of my purchases. There’s nothing particularly stand out-ish about this one as musically compared to the rest of his vast output. It’s probably one of the more metal of his albums, heavier than usual, but still imbued with all the hard rock party vibe and cheesy lyrics you’d expect but it does stand out in one obvious way: the guest musicians. Almost every song has a guest musician on it and the list, in my humble opinion, is fucking amazing. We have Jussi Lehtisalo from Circle, Fast Eddie Clarke from Motorhead, Scott Carlson from fucking Repulsion, Henry Rollins from himself, Brian Forsythe from Kix, Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister, fucking Betsy Bitch from Bitch, Rikk Agnew from Christian Death, Jack Starr from Virgin Steele, Cheetah Chrome from The Dead Boys, goddamn Joey Shithead from D.O.A., Peter Stjarnvind from Krux, and Niklas Stalvind from Wolf. And all of them fucking kill it. Every song is a blast from start to finish and every musician sounds like they’re having just as much fun, particularly the songs featuring Betsy Bitch (“Taste of Victory” and “Stars Upon Stars”) and Joey Shithead (“T.H.O.R.”).
There’s nothing serious about Thor accept his devotion and unwavering dovation to the Thor concept and to being the fucking metal hero that he truly is. When you want to stop being so serious all the time Thor is hear, ready to rock you ass.