Hollywood Dream is full of such quirks and inspirations, seemingly taking its cue from the opener, “Hollywood #1,” a winsome “wish there was a Hollywood just like there used to be” that is punctuated by a 1920s-era piano solo, picture-perfect for accompaniment to a silent movie, replete with dastardly deeds and Valentino leads.
“Look Around” finds its more contemporary inspiration in the control room, with Pete Townshend windmill guitar power chords driving the song. Bob Dylan’s “Open the Door, Homer” is gorgeously shimmering with the teenage McCullouch’s sparkling guitar and Keen’s subdued vocals, subtly building to some of Newman’s get-back honky-tonk piano.
If “Open the Door” is marked by its less-is-more musicality, the other end of the instrumental spectrum sees the exotic-sounding heady brew “Wild Country” enhanced with Newman’s Bengali flutes and oboe, and Keen’s Conga drums.
With an equal aptitude for quiet reflection and adventurousness, musical change was as much in the air as any kind of revolution promised on Hollywood Dream. One senses, then, merely from the quality and variety of the songcraft displayed on Thunderclap Newman's only album, that they certainly had the creative spark for some career longevity. Or, at the very least, that they had some more tricks up their psychedelic kazoos.