Thunder Boys Arrive Bearing Sorry Jars & Shooting Stars

The San Francisco indie-rockers balance pain & hope on their debut single & video.

Thunder Boys make an unapologetically freaky debut with their brightly burning single and Wizard Of Oz-themed video Sorry Jars & Shooting Stars — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The first preview of the San Francisco band’s upcoming debut album Leak In The Dreamworld, Sorry Jars & Shooting Stars offers a cosmic, rock ’n’ roll meditation on our collective agency, balancing immense pain and euphoric hope. Inspired by the band’s household tradition of putting a coin into a jar whenever someone says “sorry,” the song reminds us that we won’t find salvation within the trite objects upon which we place meaning. Instead, it bursts open into a celebration of something much larger than us.

“The song is about letting go of the weight of self-blame, pain, and guilt. We’re all the same, we all deal with the same stuff. We’re safe if we can let go and believe in each other,” singer and songwriter Tyson Vogel says. His words carry the listener from a state of loss to a psychedelic reverence for the universe, a journey punctuated by a searing guitar interlude from guitarist Brandon Chester and the mighty force of Justin Flowers’ drumming. The song conveys the sense that we are all a part of something of staggering significance; it is all around us, and it is within reach.

In 2020, Thunder Boys formed and recorded an album amidst a period of intense darkness. What unfolded is Leak In The Dreamworld, an ecstatic journey through the wreckage, a vessel that grew not out of obligation, but unfettered necessity. In some ways, the record birthed itself: the brainchild of Vogel, Chester, Flowers and Aaron Diko, who found themselves drawn together to form a special connection through hardship and the inexplicable drive to create. The group recorded Leak In The Dreamworld between the six rooms in Vogel’s parent’s home in Sonoma, an environment that would offer them the space and freedom for their creative chemistry to thrive.

“There’s a special process that felt like it wasn’t in our control, and in a lot of ways, none of it was. The only control we had was with each other, in this house. The world around us was in chaos,” says principle songwriter Vogel, who, like the rest of the band, grappled with his own personal struggles in tandem with those of the world. At the start of the pandemic, he was afflicted with shingles that would render him immobile and in pain for months, a period that coincided with the dissolution of an important partnership he had at the time. Leak In The Dreamworld rises from this suffering. The record’s opening track blooms like the aftermath of an apocalypse: A slow-building synth that gives way to a force of guitars, drums, and powerful vocals that carry the music into lucid, atmospheric punk rock.

Leak In The Dreamworld doesn’t stay in any one sonic place for long, and therein lies its beauty: Thunder Boys have no blueprint. The music careens onwards, propelled by the intuition and finesse each member brings to the sound. From the heavy-rock epic Conduit To The Deceased to the  acoustic Tiger Tooth In My Growl, to the psychedelic-country closer Fist To the Sky, Leak In The Dreamworld is a fearless, spiritual odyssey through catastrophe. Together, Thunder Boys find beauty, gratitude and survival.

Though the majority of the songs on Leak In The Dreamworld were penned by Vogel, the record is far from strictly a singer-songwriter venture. Vogel’s lyrics come alive in the collaboration between Diko (POW, Gravite, Cindy, Body Double), Chester (Purple Mercy, Banquet) and Flowers (CCR Headcleaner, Long Legged Woman). “Each one of them is so sensitive and special,” Vogel says. “You can feel it. I just really believe in the beauty and spontaneity of collaboration between people who are all connected — you all become one idea. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them” After the recording process, Vogel took the album to producer and long-time mentor Karl Derfler, who expanded Leak In The Dreamworld into its final form.

Derfler had also worked with Vogel on his past project, Two Gallants. That band, started modestly within the confines of Vogel’s parents’ laundry room in 2002, embarked on an odyssey across America, navigating five self-booked national tours. Their journey was sustained by self-recorded, self-burned CDRs and the support of individuals deeply moved by their craft, offering both humbling devotion and the occasional roof over the bandmembers’ heads. Collaborations with renowned labels followed, yielding five albums alongside a trove of singles and EPs. A hiatus beckoned in early 2016, casting a shadow over the band’s trajectory. Vogel’s journey, however, was far from over.

He set himself on a new path of creativity and expression amidst a city, society, country and world going through their own transformations and evolutions of cultural zeitgeists. Navigating the tumultuous seas of personal growth against the backdrop of this societal transformation, this journey continues to resonate with a raw, unfiltered authenticity that defies categorization. Thunder Boys’ songs echo trial and tribulation; hope, destruction and love — it’s a wrestling with a past and an investment into a vision of the future that is connected, vulnerable, elevated, naturalist, animalistic, spiritual and human.

Watch Sorry Jars & Shooting Stars above, listen to the track below, and join Thunder Boys on their website and Instagram.