Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Sweden’s goddesses and ass kickers are back with new album Black and Gold and the legend continues with 12 slices of rock that will melt in your face and make you desperate to see them back on stage.
The album opens with an anthemic tune. “The Light in the Sky” is a song made for the stage with its grandiloquent guitars and its chanting offers us a piece imbued with the class of Thundermother. It instantly got you excited for what’s to come.
The title track and recently released single “Black and Gold” have simple but effective riffs and the video has the band in their element…on the road.
He tries to capture the ladies live, but the only way to get that feeling is to be there, so if you have the chance, catch them before their long European run is over.
“Raise Your Hands” goes for a more laid back riff but without loss of urgency. This is a basic two-finger salute to life and it will have you screaming “is that right, I don’t care”.
Everything is in slow motion on “Hot Mess” and I have to admit that this one didn’t ignite a fire in me. It skated too close to a pop number for me, but “Wasted” brushed it off with its AC/DC feel and catchiness, too, who doesn’t love a drinking song?
The frenetic opening of “Watch Out” is what Thundermothers’ reputation is built on. Fillipa Nassil’s guitar work is fantastic and for those who doubted that the band could lose 4 members and continue, it was without counting on the tenacity of Fillipa and the power of the voice of Guernica Mancini. The band haven’t skipped a beat and live they are something special to behold.
Guitar movie Angus is back on “I Don’t Know You”, but it’s a song that goes back to the 80s. It has a real Wilson sisters feel to it and I loved it. The attitude and the bitch came out on “Looks no Hooks.” This song takes on a punk attitude and a Joan Jett perspective.
Say hello to a Bang Tango opener on “Loud and Free” and the song takes on a late 80s vibe and hair metal is strong in this one. The powerful chorus ticks all the boxes for this era and by this time it would have been an MTV hit.
The tempo and vibe are maintained on “Try With Love” and it grabs you and shakes you, which was in every track on Appetite for destruction. He slaps you to get your attention and he holds you back long after you stop playing.
It’s simply Rock’n’Roll for “Stratosphere”. Aerosmith’s early riffs tied to the huge vocals make for a killer track that leads us into the final number of “Borrowed Time” and wow. Everything I didn’t like about Hot Mess came back on this ballad. When you get a song as powerful as this, there’s no way Thundermother is on Borrowed Time.
Black and Gold is the band’s fifth album and in this era it does, breaks or sails in the same vein. The band is moving forward, there’s no way to stay put and play it safe. Yes, you know who it is with 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’s always going to be the case with Thundermother, but with albums this strong it’s only going to make those shows better as the quality and depth increases . Thundermother is a real band with a big catalog, a brilliant fan base and a big future.
List of tracks in black and gold:
01. The Light in the Sky
02. Black and Gold
03. Raise your hands
04. Hot Messy
07. I Don’t Know You
08. Doesn’t look like hooks
09. Strong and Free
10. Try with love
12. Borrowed Time
Guernica Mancini – Vocals
Filippa Nässil – Guitars
Emlee Johansson – Drums
Mona Lindgren – Bass