Pantera, Disturbed, Amon Amarth, Arch Enemy, Architects, Behemoth, Kreator, Meshuggah, Gojira, Parkway Drive, Testament, Voivod are among the 103 artists who have been added to the 26th edition of the Graspop Metal Meeting, set to take place June 15-18, 2023 in Dessel, Belgium. Tickets are on sale tomorrow at the links below. Continue reading →
One of the great conceits about reviewing music is just how awfully seriously people can take it: I know, for I am one of the worst culprits. Each new release is often treated as if it were the Second Coming with journalists falling over themselves in the search for innovative epigrams or snarky turns of phrase that underscore just how enamoured they are of the latest release from someone you’ve never heard of and are unlikely to hear of again. Similarly, the attempts to shoehorn a pretty mediocre record into the fabled canon of classics is another default setting of those who would seek to “criticise music”.
Sometimes, it’s a relief to go back to basics and consider a record as unfettered entertainment: no airs, no graces, just solid rock n roll that makes you bang your head and punch the air in vicarious delight. So let’s do just that, kids.
Stockholm’s ThunderMother are a rip snortin’, hard drinkin’, ever flirtin’ rock n’ roll outfit with more nods to AC/DC than an Angus Young headbanging session. This is the sort of rock ‘n’ roll that fuels a Friday night after a hard week at work, when you’re looking to let your hair down and have a damn fine time. It’s the aural equivalent of a Jaegerbomb.
The AC/DC influence is palpable and worn as a badge of honour. In some respects, this could be a female version of Airbourne but without the grating insufferableness of the Antipodeans. With songs like ‘It’s Just a Tease’ (a great putdown of boorish males); ‘Deal with The Devil’, ‘Roadkill’ or ‘Thunder Machine’ you know that ThunderMother aren’t looking to win the Booker prize, but there is an energy and a wit to the song-writing and the playing: this is an album that gallops along breathlessly, stopping only for another beer and a shot of bourbon.
Road Fever (Despotz) has no qualms or anxieties about whether you think that this is a record that matters or will be changing the world. It is a record that comes in, does a bit of a turn, shouts a bit and then leaves. It has a pile of energy and a feisty set of lyrics that conjure an infectious image of the last-gang-of-girls-in-town, partying all day and night and rightly belittling the male population for being idiots: in many ways, this is Lena Dunham’s Girls with a hard rock soundtrack.