Early this past March, Swedish rock outfit Thundermother released its third full-length studio recording – a self titled, 13-song, 43-minute album – to the masses via Despotz Records. The band’s latest effort is an interesting effort from the band. That is because while it continues to rely heavily on its AC/DC-influenced arrangements (which in many cases sadly sound a little too close to AC/DC’s works), it also does show at least a little bit of growth from the band’s previous efforts. Those attempts to branch out on the band’s own include the full-throttle rocker ‘Racing on Mainstreet,’ the quite reserved ‘Fire In The Rain’ and the confident ‘Won’t Back Down.’ This trio of works is just a small example of the growth that Thundermother exhibits in this record. ‘Hanging At My Door’ is another example of the band trying to branch out and grow. One could also argue that ‘Follow Your Heart’ is another example of Thundermother’s growth on this record. Keeping those songs in mind when examining the album in whole, they create at least some hope for the band’s future. It leaves one hoping that if the band makes it to a fourth album, that listeners will hear more growth and change, so that the band can continue to establish its own identity and place in the rock community. If it manages that, then one will be able to look back and say this album was the starting point of that welcome change.
Thundermother’s new self-titled album – its third full-length studio recording – is an interesting point for the Swedish rock outfit. That is because it is a point for the band that shows a clear attempt to grow and develop its own identity versus allowing itself to continue being solely compared to the likes of AC/DC and Airbourne. It does an applause-worthy job in that attempt to grow and change, too. That is evidenced early on in the full-throttle rocker that is ‘Racing on Mainstreet.’ This high-energy highlight takes all the energy and influence of AC/DC (for which the band has been known to emulate for so many years), and used it to show that it can make its own high-energy songs that stand on their own merits. Front woman Guernica Mancini’s vocal delivery is closer here to that of Joan Jett and Lita Ford than Brian Johnson while guitarist Filippa Nassil teams with drummer Emlee Johansson and bassist Sara Pettersson to create the foundation for this adrenaline-fueled musical ride. One can almost see the band on stage performing the song thanks to its energy, Mancini’s fist in the air, a confident sneer on her face while her band mates keep the song moving, at the same time, themselves moving all around the stage (save of course for Johansson). Lyrically speaking, it does just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained all while avoiding too much comparison to its longtime influence. Not having a lyrics sheet to reference, Mancini seems to be singing about someone who just can’t seem to stay out of trouble, but at the same time maybe doesn’t mind that too much. This is inferred right from the song’s lead verse as she sings, “I took my car down to hit the road/I take the sun/I feel the rain…I’m on the run/trouble/Being hectic again/Trouble/Bad choices again/Trouble/Infectious disease.” The rest of the song’s lyrical content follows in relatively similar fashion, leading one to believe this is a fun, fist-pumping song centered on youthful rebellion. Considering this ability of the band to emulate its influence yet still create its own composition both musically and lyrically, is a sure sign that there’s reason for audiences to have hope for the band’s future. It is just one of the songs included in this record that gives listeners reason for that hope. ‘Fire In The Rain,’ which comes immediately after ‘Racing In The Streets’ is another song that gives fans hope for the band’s future.
‘Fire in the Rain’ is quite reserved in comparison to the other songs included in this record. That applies even as the song builds from its early, gentler bars to its more powerful moments. Instead of comparisons to AC/DC, the band’s collective work here leads the song to lend itself both musically and lyrically more to the likes of Pat Benatar, Joan Jett and other similar acts. While the arrangement shows growth just in its stylistic and musical approach, that approach has a deeper effect that adds even more to its impact. The effect is that of a song that seems to progress without much effort. This is meant in the best possible way. It seems, thanks to the band members’ work, the song ends before one realizes it, and leaves listeners wanting more in the best way possible. In regards to its lyrical content, listeners will appreciate the way in which the song sends it message of love. Mancini sings here, “You were there when times were changing/You embraced me with your smile/You were there when I wept on my walls/You know I’ve been struggling through it all/And you found me there/When I was down/What would I have done/If you’d let me be/You set out and I saw you…it was only with you that I could breathe/you defended me when no one ever did/Encouraged me/As I turned to gold/You filled me with the strength to carry on/Cause you’re my fire in the rain.” Mancini doesn’t try to get flowery and metaphorical with her message here. Rather, she just puts it out there straight forward. It’s a nice change of pace, especially for a love song. It makes the song all the more accessible to the average listener regardless of that person’s familiarity with the band. What’s more, that simple lyrical approach shows even more the band’s growth in this record, especially considering that the song’s musical arrangement is such a strong companion to its lyrical content. It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show the band’s growth on this album. ‘Won’t Back Down’ is yet another example of that welcome growth.
‘Won’t Back Down’ shows growth first and foremost through its musical arrangement. Again, this arrangement is another opus that shows the band breaking away and branching out from its connection to AC/DC yet still offering a strong, blues rock composition that will move any listener, especially in the solos. Comparatively speaking, the song’s musical arrangement lends itself to a comparison to some of Lita Ford’s best works. Lyrically speaking, the song shows growth in the fact that it shows such confidence from its subject. As Mancini sings here, “Won’t back down from the pressures of what to do…Won’t back down from running over love/’Cause I’m a woman who won’t back down.” There’s more throughout the song, but not much, and it all runs relatively in accordance with these lines. Those other lines continue to tout the subject’s self-confidence and personal strength. She sings, “won’t back down for money or for love’ at another point, illustrating that message even more. Considering that confidence and personal strength, this shows just as much, the change from the band as the other noted songs. It’s another positive sign for the band, too, and still not the last, either. ‘Follow Your Heart’ is another example of that growth, as is ‘Hanging At My Door.’ Between those songs and the works more directly discussed here, the growth and change exhibited by the band is obvious, and gives hope for the band’s future. With any luck that change exhibited here is only the beginning for the band, too. If so, the future will definitely be bright for the band in its albums to come.
Swedish rock band Thundermother’s new self-titled album is a promising new sign from the band. That is because of the growth that is made evident from the band throughout the course of the album. From the up-tempo rocker that is ‘Racing on the Mainstreet’ that seems to hint at someone who loves the troubled life to the more deeply emotional ‘Fire in the Rain’ to the confidence and strength in the album’s finale, ‘Won’t Back Down,’ and more, the band shows time and again that it is not just a one-trick pony. Rather, it shows the band’s ability to develop its own identity without losing any substance in its recordings. If the band keeps this pace from here on out, it gives hope for the band’s future. That being the case, that hope makes this album worth at least one listen. It is available now. More information on Thundermother is available online now along with all of Thundermother’s latest news and more at:
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