Album review: THUNDERMOTHER – Heat Wave


AFM Records [Release date 31.07.20]

Heat Wave – Thundermother’s fourth album – finds the no frills, all-female, Swedish, rock ‘n’ raunchers still in line-up transition.

With all bar founder member/guitarist/songwriter Filippa Nässil quitting the band after touring their 2015 sophomore release Road Fever, Nässil did a quite remarkable job of seamlessly re-booting the band with their 2018 self-titled album.  And as we commented in the review of that album Guernica Mancini (vocals), in particular, is a real ‘find’.

Heat Wave sees the introduction of a new bass player – Majsan Lindberg, and for the first time, all band members, including drummer Emlee Johansson, contribute to the song writing.

Produced by Danish hard rocker Soren Andersen, who’s worked with the likes of Glenn Hughes, Dave Mustaine, and Tommy Aldridge, at his Copenhagen Medley recording studio, Heat Wave picks up where Thundermother left off, with another 13 tracks of no nonsense, high voltage rock ‘n’ roll.

The set kicks out the jams with the AC/DC imbued ‘Loud And Alive’ – a sure fire crowd pleaser, ‘Dog From Hell’ adds a little Def Leppard/Joan Jett swagger, while ‘Back In ’76′ marries the spirit of Jett’s take on ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ with a faint whiff of Bolan’s ‘Children of The Revolution’ riff.

‘Into The Mud’ melds the urgency of AC/DC and Motörhead, the title tracks borrows unashamedly from the former, and ‘Driving In Style’ the latter.  It’s all huge, tongue in cheek, fun.

Like on the band’s last album the shadow of AC/DC looms large throughout, although the solitary ballad, ‘Sleep’ which strays into P!nk! territory, and the bluesy funk of ‘Purple Sky’, both hint at a broader potential.

Yes, it’s formulaic and well ‘choreographed’, but Thundermother’s brand of brash, anthemic, fist pumping, rock ‘n’ roll isn’t supposed to be taken too seriously.  It’s about letting your hair down (at least by those of us who have any remaining).   And, Coronavirus permitting, the band will tour the album through Germany and Europe in autumn.  Ballsy.  ***1/2

Review by Pete Whalley

David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

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