"Heat Wave" (AFM Records; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I had no idea what to expect when I started playing Thundermother's "Heat Wave" album. But I can sure tell you what I got: 12 tracks of vibrant rock'n'roll that's one of the most dynamic releases I've heard this year.

From "Loud and Alive," the very first track, "Heat Wave" sounds alive, like a rock'n'roll record should. It's loud. It's got monstrous guitars. It's got a vocalist who sings not only with talent and style but with a vivid personality that bursts its way through your speakers (or ear buds, or headphones, or whatever).

From that track on, the band plugs through a collection of rolling thunder that brings to mind AC/DC (both old and new) with their crushing guitars, spiraling riffs and booming rhythms. Of course, there are times when the band slows down, as on the ballad-y "Sleep," which kind of plays like a modern country-western track. "Purple Sky," more of a rocker, slows the pace for a moment as well but crescendos into something a little more heavy.

For the most part, "Heat Wave" keeps it lively and loud. My favorite tracks are the fiery "Free Ourselves," the rebellious "Into the Mud" and the title track, which features an infectious melody that grips you from the onset.

The bottom line is this: "Heat Wave" does what a great album should: Kick your ass and make you hungry for more. A quick Google search tells me there's at least three other Thundermother albums out there. Because I like "Heat Wave" so much, I'm going to hunt those down now! (Although I see that the line-up was recently totally re-vamped so ... well, we'll see).

Thundermother: Filippa Nässil - guitars; Guernica Mancini - vocals; Emlee Johansson - drums; Majsan Lindberg - bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2018 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.