Thundermother appear to have had a long, awkward birth process – emerging from Sweden in 2017 to their now all-female entity from what seem to be a few false starts, they’re led by guitarist / founder Filippa Nässil into 2022 and their latest albumBlack And Gold.
It’s been a good few years, considering the pandemic; tours with Backyard Babies and European festivals (including Waken and Copenhell) have pointed to a hard-working band writing good songs and touring them, albeit apparently with few of the musicians who started the band.
Last album, Heat Wave (reviewed here) was stomping old-school hard-rock in the AC/DC / Thunder / Crue mould – this one seems more “knowing”, and not in a good way.
The Bon Jovi-esque drum intro to first song ‘Light In The Sky’ Black and Gold feels like a walk-though of arena rock of the last 40 years, and second song title-track abandons its punk-ish roots for a formulaic solo / middle 8 / chorus structure…you’re getting nothing here that you haven’t heard before.
Then you get something like ‘Hot Mess’, which is what happens when you let a singer who wants to be on X-Factor work with a songwriter who doesn’t mind that – never has a song been better titled. An absolute wank-sock of a tune.
The rest of the album is what you’d expect from the first half.
‘Watch Out’ is a decent blend of Motley Crue and Skid Row; ‘I Don’t Know You’ is a clunky transition from an unnecessary AC/DC / Queen-ish intro to a decent enough rock n’ roll tune. But all the way through to self-indulgent closer ‘Borrowed Time’, this feels like exactly that – derivative, recycling old riffs.
I feel that I need to find something nice to say…the production is great, the mix is more-or-less perfect, guitar solos are immaculate. But nothing here has grabbed me, and I’m kinda sad about that. A “meh” album from an outstanding live band.
- Reviewed by Ian Savage.
- Black And Gold is released via AFM Records on 19th August 2022.
- Official Website
- YouTube Channel
1. The Light In The Sky
2. Black And Gold
3. Raise Your Hands
4. Hot Mess
6. Watch Out
7. I Don’t Know You
8. All Looks No Hooks
9. Loud And Free
10. Try With Love
12. Borrowed Time