|Bonafide - 'Ultimate Rebel' (Off Yer Rocker Recordings)|
|Written by Jamie Richards|
|Wednesday, 08 August 2012 05:00|
Dismissing this kind of 'drenched in the seventies' hard rock is all too easy, and I admit that on first hearing this band a year or so back, the music snob within me did just that. Revisiting them after a member of URHQ explained his love of them to me, I listened again...and soon realised that hasty was indeed what I had been.
You see, the art of making classic rock in the vein, and of the quality, that these four crazy Swedes are doing requires an incredible amount of passion, musicianship, skill and belief, and those facts and qualities are very under appreciated. Like the long lost skill of a wheelwright, the outcome can often be too easily dismissed as standard fare, as, well, "a wheel"; but when given the respect and consideration the craft truly deserves when it's this good, when it's this seriously good, then it's a whole different story.
It's not music by robots or computers, and if Muse are serious about their recent claim that dub-step is the new rock, then this album begs to differ; well in truth it doesn't, in truth it doesn't give a fuck what they say - because Muse don't even exist in Bonafide's worldly rock 'n' roll vision.
'Make My Own Rules' lights a fire that burns fiercely with excellent riffs, and frontman Pontus Snibb lets us know he's "got no time, fools" with his mighty fine Paul Rogers meets Bon Scott rasp. From there on there's really no let up: the slower bluesy grind of 'The Mess', the classic Scorpions-esque riff and infectious chorus that run through 'Too Fired Up' are perfect examples of the lovingly carved joints that hold the whole thing together. 'Doing the Pretty' is a song that could easily have sat alongside the classics contained in, say, 'Back in Black', such is the foot tapping and head bobbing it brings about.
'Blue Skies Red' shows real brilliance in terms of modern originality in the world of classic rock, though confusingly it fades out when it seems there is real room for it to continue into an epic monster. The Young brothers' back catalogue of riffs is well and truly plundered for 'Rag and Bone Man', but it's in a good cause and, honestly, what band haven't taken inspiration from heroes? Exactly, even the pioneers of the genre Led Zeppelin looked to the ghosts of rock 'n' roll past for their creations.
'Rebel Machine' brings it all back around to help the album complete a pretty much perfect circle of rock 'n' roll, with the ultimate in traditional craftsmanship on display throughout every inch of it, and with just the right amount of production varnish to enhance but not over-power the finished product. Bonafide's 'Ultimate Rebel' has just smashed and head banged its way into my top albums of 2012; I dare you to hear it and not feel the same.
To pick up your copy of 'Ultimate Rebel' - CLICK HERE