Bonafide: Ultimate Rebel

70s plundering, done with some panache.

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Speaking to Classic Rock in 2011, Bonafide’s Pontus Snibb claimed to find the AC/DC comparisons “flattering”. Good thing, because they’ll pile up after Ultimate Rebel.

Between the stabbing guitars and rabble chorus of Make My Own Rules, the leery Bon-isms of ‘ridin’ hard’ in Doing The Pretty, and a wholesale swipe of Angus’s For Those About To Rock riff on Rag And Bone Man, the Swedes’ third album sits between homage and brazen grave-robbing.

Ultimately, it all boils down to what five years ago you might have called the ‘Airbourne dilemma’: is it enough for bands to unashamedly rehash the past masters if they do so with spirit and panache? In Bonafide’s case, the answer is a tentative yes. You can’t deny the fact that you’re singing these choruses by the second listen, that the musicianship is brutally accomplished, and that moments like Too Fired Up are clinically impossible to dislike.

You suspect that Bonafide can’t make this template stretch over many more albums. But then that’s what they said about AC/DC.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.