BONAFIDE – Are You Listening? (2023)

BONAFIDE - Are You Listening? (2023) - full

Swedish Hard Rockers BONAFIDE are finally back in business with their new album ”Are You Listening?”. This is the band’s first studio album since 2017´s Flames, and not only are they back, they are back with a vengeance. Every single one of the ten new tracks shows a band that once again are on fire.
It’s pure high-energy uncompromising riff-driven hard rock on a level that very few which very few other bands can match. The album is produced by Chips Kiesbye (Hellacopters, Backyard Babies) and the song “Snacket” features a duet with Nisse Hellberg from the legendary Swedish band Wilmer X.
A pulsing bass line opens the album on the title track with a gang vocal not too dissimilar to ‘Thunderstruck’. ‘’You got such a pretty face, the way you use it is just a disgrace’’ – now there’s a lyric! The guitars already sound a little harder edged and the song comes across with real menace. The gang chant means this will be a real live favorite.

‘Hero to Zero‘ follows. Somebody has pissed main man Pontus Snibb off and lyrically he takes it out here. A real driving beat and guitars with room to colour, leading to a call and response chorus.
‘Salvation‘ has that 70’s Quo bop to it during the verses, yet the chorus is relatively melodic. It works. ‘’No absolution for me, no Hail Mary’s’’. You can’t accuse Pontus of being upbeat lyrically so far. The guitar solo is tasty, particularly taking flight during the outro.
‘Who’s The Boss‘ gets a right shift on. One to put the pedal to the metal with. Sometimes less is more and this is definitely that.

‘Snacket‘ is unique due to it being sung in Scanian, a regional dialect and featuring a guest appearance from Wilmer X frontman Nisse Hellberg. The song itself doesn’t suffer and has a catchy chorus, driven again by the guitars giving plenty of air, allowing the drums, bass and vocals to drive through. Young bands take note – your guitarist’s right hand doesn’t have to be like a cement mixer. Let the freaking song breathe! Bonafide are masters at this.
‘Dealt A Bad Hand‘. It certainly isn’t drummer Niklas Mattson who has one. If you thought ‘Who’s The Boss‘ was quick, this just went past it in the outside lane. I’m tempted to say melodic Motörhead, but it’s so much more than that. The middle 8 grooves and takes things to another level until Niklas leads the band blasting back in.

‘Rumble‘ is the Cold Hearted Man of the bunch. I love the verses here. The drum beat makes it feel like a Saturday night on the piss with the lads. Pontus promises us, ‘’We’re gonna be like Jekyll and Hyde‘’, and he means it, no messing.
A guitar assault from Anders Rosell and Pontus opens ‘Tonight I’m Wild‘, before it descends into a mid paced groove. It feels like the staple you used to hear on 70’s rock radio in the US, with a Sammy Hagar/Kiss/Molly Hatchet vibe. The guitars really take centre stage. A surprise, but one of those strippers and Jack type nice surprises!

Who calls a song ‘Tommie Nine Fingers‘? No matter, Pontus has history with ‘Peg Leg Pete‘ off the first album, so they may run with the same gang. Ahem, pardon the pun. The main guitar riff almost has a Celtic refrain, but harder edged. Tommie turns out to be a getaway driver. He’s such a catch…
‘Little Miss Understood‘ closes proceedings. Upbeat and bopping along like a one legged man in an arse kicking contest, it has another chorus that nails itself into your subconscious.

To sum up, this is Bonafide back to their best. What the band have managed to do is cut away the crap and have produced a lean mean rock and roll record. Pontus, Anders, Martin and Niklas have created a banger.
Are YOU Listening?!


01 – Are You Listening?
02 – Hero To Zero
03 – Salvation
04 – Who’s The Boss
05 – Snacket (feat. Nisse Hellberg)
06 – Dealt A Bad Hand
07 – Rumble
08 – Tonight I’m Wild
09 – Tommie Nine Fingers
10 – Little Miss Understood

Pontus Snibb – vocals
Niklas Matsson – drums
Martin Ekelund – bass
Anders Rosell – guitar


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