As mentioned before on these pages, my first encounter with Thundermother was when they graced the stage at Sabaton Open Air in 2018. Someone had told me not to miss their show and I was glad I didn’t. A superb live band with a great repertoire of songs, I made sure to keep an eye out for them again in future. And here we are. In the future. One without live shows. So it’s kind of good that they have a new album out that I can listen to at home in my sealed mask-wearing bubble.
Even better is the fact that it’s bloody brilliant. Skip the rest of the review if that’s all you needed to know. Otherwise, read on…
Thirteen tracks are present and correct for your total rock-out enjoyment. No frills, nothing fancy, just straight up rock ‘n’ roll. Bass rumbles, drums kick, guitars wail and vocals soar. “Loud and Alive” simply must be the song they open with live once concerts are back on the agenda. An absolutely uplifting stormer of a track, it’ll have you bouncing in no time. Hell, much the same could be said of every damn song on here (OK, barring the ballad), but that doesn’t mean the tracks are samey.
“Dog From Hell” and “Back in 76” both have superb choruses, with nice simple verses. Ideal to get the songs into your head from which they will never escape. “Into the Mud” turns the tempo up and dances a jig all over you. It’s not thrash, but it clatters along at a hell of a non-stop pace.
The title track is actually one of the gentler numbers, perhaps designed to have more mass appeal. It’s still damn good, but is perhaps a little too mainstream and as a result loses out to some of the other numbers. Mind you, to say a song as good as this is comparatively weak says a lot about the rest of the album! This includes the mandatory ballad, “Sleep”, an exceptionally good song and definitely not out of place amongst the rockier parts of the collection. I’d not say it provides a break, but it certainly takes you in a different direction for four minutes.
You can check out “Driving in Style”‘s video below and get a feel for the group and the album. Typically raucous and full of quality riffage, if you like it then put this album on your “to buy” list. “Free Ourselves” is an interesting little number, but “Mexico” should have you grabbing your dancing shoes. Some definite southern rock and country influences infuse this one to the point where you could line dance to it.
“Purple Sky” is your “starts of gentle and builds” track, and leads into the bluesy “Ghosts”. One of the top tracks, “Somebody Love Me” fills the penultimate slot. It has the kind of title that makes you think “ballad”… but, no. This is a sleazy, dirty, I-want-to-say-balls-out-but-I-can’t rocker of the highest order. By the time the last words of “Bad Habits” have faded out, you’ll find yourself reaching for the play button again (or telling Siri to “repeat album” or whatever you kids do these days). Heatwave isn’t just an album, it’s an addiction and it’s one of the best and most listened-to releases I’ve covered this year.
Simply put, if you’re a fan of good old fashioned hard rock then I simply cannot recommend this album highly enough.
Heatwave is out on July 31st