Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Swedish Goddesses and ass kickers are back with new album Black and Gold and the legend continues with 12 slices of rock that will melt your face and get you desperate to see them on a stage again.
The album opens with an anthemic feel. “The Light in the Sky” is a song made for the stage with its bombastic guitars and chanting gives us a track that is stamped with Thundermother’s class. This instantly has you hyped for what is to come.
Title track and recently released single “Black and Gold” has simple but effective riffs and the video has the band in their element…on the road.
It tries to capture the ladies live but the only way you can get that feeling is being there so if you get the chance catch them before their long European run comes to an end.
“Raise Your Hands” goes for a more laid back riff but with no loss of urgency. This is a staple two fingered salute to life and it will have you screaming “is it fair, I don’t care”.
Everything is slowed down on “Hot Mess” and I have to admit this one did not light a fire in me. It skated too close to a pop number for me but “Wasted” wiped that away with its AC/DC feel and sheer catchiness, also, who does not love a drinking song?
The frantic opening of “Watch Out” is what Thundermothers reputation is built on. Fillipa Nassil’s guitar work is fantastic and for those that doubted the band could lose 4 members and continue did not count on Fillipa’s tenacity and the power of Guernica Mancini’s vocals. The band has not skipped a beat and live they are something special to behold.
The Angus guitar flick is back on “I Don’t Know You” but this is a song that harks back to the 80s. There is a real Wilson sisters feel and I loved this. The attitude and bitchiness is out on “Looks no Hooks”. This song takes a punk attitude and a Joan Jett outlook.
Say hello to a Bang Tango opening on “Loud and Free” and the song takes on a late 80s vibe and the hair metal is strong in this one. The powerful chorus ticks every box from that era and in those days this would have been a sure fire MTV hit.
The tempo and vibe are kept on “Try With Love” and this has that grab you and shake you that was in every track of Appetite for destruction. It slaps you to grab your attention and it holds onto you long after it has stopped playing.
It is straight forward Rock’n’Roll for “Stratosphere”. The early Aerosmith riffs tied with the huge vocals makes for a killer track which leads us onto the last number in “Borrowed Time” and wow. Everything I disliked on Hot Mess is turned around on this ballad. When you get a song as powerful as this there is no way Thundermother are on Borrowed Time.
Black and Gold is the bands fifth album and around that time its make, break or cruise along in the same vein. The band are pushing forward, there is no staying put and playing safe. Yes, you know who this is on just one listen but the growth is there to be seen and felt.
Some bands will never come close to their stage presence on record and I think that may always be the case for Thundermother but with such strong albums this will only make those live shows better as the quality and depth is growing. Thundermother are a real band with a great catalogue, a brilliant fanbase and big future.
Black And Gold track listing:
01. The Light In The Sky
02. Black And Gold
03. Raise Your Hands
04. Hot Mess
06. Watch Out
07. I Don’t Know You
08. Looks No Hooks
09. Loud And Free
10. Try With Love
12. Borrowed Time
Guernica Mancini – Vocals
Filippa Nässil – Guitars
Emlee Johansson – Drums
Mona Lindgren – Bass