Thundermother – Heat Wave (Deluxe Edition)

Heat Wave - Deluxe Edition Album Cover Art

Thundermother – Heat Wave (Deluxe Edition)
AFM Records
Release Date: 21/05/2021
Running Time: 85:25
Review by Simon Black

This Swedish four piece have done remarkably well since their “Rock’n’Roll Disaster” album debuted in 2014. Not least since this incarnation of the band has basically been rebuilt from the ground up by guitarist Filippa Nässil after the rest of the band split in 2017. Listening to this album you wouldn’t know it – as it’s fresh, energetic and a real ‘screw you’ to the world. This is traditional denim ‘n’ leather rock’n’roll of the calibre that reaches across the aisles commercially and that’s clearly been recognised as AFM are not what you call a small label. That said, whilst the influences are loud and clear, sometimes homage can stray into appropriation, but hey it works…plus you get the chance to play ‘spot the AC/DC riff’ throughout.

This is an extended re-release of last year’s core album, which didn’t do badly given that as another victim of 2020, it’s had no touring support to get it to the masses and tell them that you’ve come back from the brink of the abyss. In fact ‘rebirth’ would probably be a better description, as apart from the style, they sound nothing like their first three albums. They sound better…

Disc one, for the old farts like me that still like something to hold in our arthritic hands is the original 2020 album, with the second disc comprising of a number of new tracks that missed the album, some acoustic versions of ‘Driving In Style’, ‘Sleep’ and ‘Dog From Hell’; a few live tracks and topped off with a cover of Alan O’Day / Johnny Stevenson’s ‘Rock and Roll Heaven’ as popularised by The Righteous Brothers. As cover songs go, it’s probably the one song that sums up where these girls are coming from.

The highlights are many, but I would personally include ‘Free Ourselves’ – another one where the line between homage and plagiarism is a bit thin and the Young brothers definitely deserve some credit for influencing the ‘Razor’s Edge’ style intro riff for this one, the fantastic ‘Dog From Hell’ or ‘Back in ’76, with its anthemic period glam rock infused style that Joan Jett ought to get a royalty check for, alongside Malcolm Young, but it’s clearly the sort of song screaming out to be played live. To be honest, you could say the same of almost any of the tracks on here, although the better ones are clearly front loaded on the first half of the original album.

‘Sleep’ is a very 80’s centric US Radio Friendly Power Ballad fare, and while brilliantly delivered is not breaking new ground here, and is probably the only track I would skip. It feels like something the label insisted on, rather than what the band wanted to deliver, as it sticks out like a sore thumb and slightly spoils the flow on what is otherwise an absolute belter of a record.

You Can’t Handle Me’ (Official Video)

01. Loud And Alive
02. Dog From Hell
03. Back In ‘76
04. Into The Mud
05. Heat Wave
06. Sleep
07. Driving In Style
08. Free Ourselves
09. Mexico
10. Purple Sky
11. Ghosts
12. Somebody Love Me
13. Bad Habits

01. The Road Is Ours
02. Show Me What You Got
03. You Can´t Handle Me
04. Driving In Style (Acoustic)
05. Dog From Hell (Acoustic)
06. Sleep Feat. Jesper Binzer (Acoustic)
07. Give Me Some Lights (Live)
08. Thunderous (Live)
09. Hellevator (Live)
10. Rock’n’Roll Heaven (feat. Dregen & Pontus Snibb)

Filippa Nässil – Guitar
Guernica Mancini – Vocals
Emlee Johansson – Drums
Majsan Lindberg – Bass


Thundermother Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.