Thundermother's Black And Gold glides along on a wave of singalong arena rock

Black And Gold from Scandi quartet Thundermother tells of the highs and lows of a life in rock’n’roll

Thundermother - Black And Gold cover art
(Image: © AFM)

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It seems that Sweden is enjoying quite the hard-rock revival this summer. While their fellow countrymen H.e.a.t. have returned with a full-tilt blast of unrefined hard rock on their new album, Thundermother are coming from a similar standpoint but with more in the way of subtlety. 

With countless ‘woah-oah’s and the use of a Bon Jovi-style talk-box, Black And Gold glides along on a wave of singalong arena rock, especially in the joyous Raise Your Hands, celebrating the search for self-made nuggets of glamour in life even when times are hard. But for every air-punching anthemic chorus there’s a moment of reflection, as in the rolling blues rock of Hot Mess (described by the band as “Aerosmith-meets-Aretha Franklin”), which allows singer Guernica Mancini to wring every drop of emotion from her soul. 

Borrowed Time, meanwhile, offers a surprisingly downbeat ending, a portrait of the crash in mood that comes when the show is over and it’s time to deal with your own self-doubt. 

With a gleaming melody contrasting and complementing the gloom, it brings to mind a song by another of their country’s top exports, ABBA’s The Winner Takes It All, reinvented and beamed through a classic-rock prism. There’s a lot more going on in Black And Gold than it at first suggests.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.