So, for those of us in the States, when you think of Sweden and music, who do you think of? OK, maybe not many come to mind. If you listen to the radio over here, you will rarely hear any Swedish bands being played. It’s really an unfortunate thing because there are so many exquisite rock and roll bands there. Sweden is one of my very favorite countries for rock, metal and even punk. If I had the choice between an unknown American and unknown Swedish band, I would always pick the Swedish band to listen to first.
THUNDERMOTHER, from Stockholm, Sweden, has had one of the biggest challenges on the known rock and roll scene and is up with self-titled album number three Thundermother (Despotz Records, February 23). In 2017, the quintet became single founding member and guitarist Filippa Nässil, as four members walked out the door. I don’t know the circumstances and quite honestly, am not that interested. As this had to be a huge thing to overcome, it might just have been fate, because only after a short period of time, the now quartet rebel faction sounds as good as ever, maybe better.
Headlining the album is “Revival”. It is no doubt the song is dedicated to the rising of the group. It’s quite obvious the ladies can blend their blues roots together with AC/DC overtones in this starter. Hold on to your ass next, because “Whatever” is going to try and kick it off. New vocalist Guernica Mancini absolutely knocks it out of the park with simultaneous heavy pounding of the skins by Emlee Johansson. I was very impressed by Mancini’s vocals on this track. Easily the best tune on the album. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to go punch a wall.
“Survival Song” comes in third spot with the introduction of a second guitar. A catchy down and dirty rock and roll effort. Not a flamboyant tune, it is really tastefully done. “Racing on Mainstreet” picks up the pace, a pedal to the \m/etal driving tune. We all need those people who stick with us, through good and bad and “Fire in the Rain” is an obvious dedication to whoever that might be. Many shallow people up and leave during tough times, but the few who stay are the flames who warm our hearts,and who we cherish and deserve. “Hanging At My Door” is a lighter rock number with catchy music. You’ll find your foot tapping to the unassuming but deliberate bass line played by Sara Pettersson.
Back to the fast paced rock n’ roll, “Rip Your Heart Out” tears out a nice drum beat. With tasty guitar, bass and drum beats, Guernica screams it home with powerful intensity. Taking a trip to early AC/DC roots, “The Original Sin” makes its appearance followed by “Quitter” (I love both of these BTW). “We Fight For Rock N Roll” was debuted last year with a video for the song. I really liked it even without the video, personally. Nässil has a very nice and tasty solo here, however. Next in line is “Follow Your Heart”, which slows down the beat and leads into lively “Children on the Rampage” which comes in 12th place with that heavy skin influence. “Won’t Back Down” fittingly finishes the list.
Although not always my most favorite tracks on LPs, THUNDERMOTHER’S slower paced songs really concentrate on lyric composition and I think that is one of their strongest qualities. The band took time to produce a stronger drum mix, which I think works well and adds to that AC/DC feel. Some time will be needed to become a really tight band, but hell they are essentially starting over. Ya gotta appreciate that fact. Although this is a different feel for the Stockholm based troup, the album is an affirmation that although they may have had a major transformation, it might turn out to be the best thing that has happened to them. I think it’s a great re-start. Salude’
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Whatever”, “Rip Your Heart Out”, “Original Sin”, “Quitter”
-MARK“\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH