Newly downsized Thundermother return with a self-titled album, the third full length in their four-year history. Only guitarist and founder Filippa Nässil remains, and she elected to not bring in a second guitarist when she was rebuilding the band. What is surprising, but also evident just a few songs in, is how accurately the new crew replicates the sound Thundermother established on the earlier recordings, a sound that is as full and hard-hitting as ever despite not having a second guitar. “Revival”, the opening cut, is well named, another tune demonstrating Nässil’s affinity and fondness for delivering a Young-ian riff. Follow-up “Whatever” may be the best cut of the album, and as a great an example of why Hard Rock bands need to cut loose and record live in the studio more often. Thundermother get a raw, vibrant intensity in their “live in the studio” songs that would be unlikely to be reproduced with a slower, more careful recording process. That energy is built on precision, though, and not loose playing— Sara Pettersson (bass) and Emlee Johansson (drums) lay down a rhythmic foundation so solid they’d draw AC/DC comparisons even without the riffs. The edges, then, come from the guitars and from Guernica Mancini’s passionate, raspy vocals. Mancini can drop it soulfully, as she does on “Fire In The Rain” and “Follow Your Heart”, or she can belt it out as she does masterfully on pretty much all of the other eleven tracks on the album. Thundermother isn’t quite Let There Be Rock, but it was largely recorded in the same spirit, and that’s the right spirit to keep.
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