Thornes is a hard rock quartet formed in New York by Virginia-raised Antoinette Michael Thornes. Learning to play guitar at an early age, Thornes wrote songs, waiting for the day when she could front a band, perform before rock audiences and record her songs. Then a crushed larynx in 2006 robbed Antoinette’s ability to sing. She underwent surgery, recuperated and resumed singing by 2011. She wrote and recorded the Issues EP in 2012. The band Thornes now features her powerful voice fronting a heavy guitar and rhythm section. The band presently is comprised of Thornes on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Abel Garcia on lead guitar, Steve Steele on bass and Kevin Lee Roth on drums.
At Arlene’s Grocery tonight, Thornes showed that the singer’s journey helped give her a context to her songs. Her singing style was born of the Motown her mother loved and the rock in her roll came from the Led Zeppelin her dad loved. Her lyrics revealed her struggles in love, loss, finding the inner strength to overcome life’s obstacles, and her rock fan identity. The band has a killer guitarist in Garcia, who seemed to avoid the spotlight but played sparkling and speedy leads on every song. Thornes herself was more than a token guitar-toting blonde, however, opening several songs with her own impressive riffs. Overall, the band Thornes demonstrated that it is among the new generation of New York bands poised to lead a 1980s-style hard rock revival. Thornes performs again at the R Bar on September 26.