THE GEMS (ex Thundermother) – Phoenix (2024) *HQ*

THE GEMS (ex Thundermother) - Phoenix (2024) *HQ* - full

Swedish female rockers THE GEMS named their debut album “Phoenix” for a pretty obvious reason: the band came together after its three members left Sweden’s current queens of rock, Thundermother, back in February. So the album is a celebration of the band “rising from the ashes,” so to speak.
At the center of the split was Thundermother’s guitarist, main songwriter and founder Filippa Nässil, and the band’s singer since 2017, Guernica Mancini. Apparently they fought while touring the U.S. and since it was Nässil’s band, Mancini got the boot. Drummer Emlee Johansson and bassist (now guitarist) Mona “Demona” Lindgren exited with her, leaving Nässil the only remaining member of Thundermother.

Out from under the thumb of Nässil, The Gems recorded an album of 16 songs that sounds extremely similar to Thundermother’s brand of hard rock, but with much more drive. Thundermother albums are chock full of jams that are AC/DC meets Thin Lizzy meets ”Hell Bent For Leather” era Priest, but interspersed with slower, melodic rock anthems. “Like A Phoenix” is all gas, no brakes. Besides the ballad “Ease Your Pain,” there’s one ripping guitar riff after another. This is probably due to the talents of Lindgren, whose shredding is levels above Nässil’s chunky playing-style.

Much of ”Phoenix” feels like a revenge record. Along with the almost non-stop heavy riffs are song titles “P.S.Y.C.H.O,” “Silver Tongue,” and “Send Me To The Wolves” – a song about “champions overcoming and not giving in to oppressors” according to a press release. Whatever happened in Thundermother must’ve been bad because these women are pissed.

Band history aside, ”Phoenix” is a solid album for lovers of classic hard rock recorded with a clean sound. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a long drive in a fast car or a game of volleyball with your bros on the beach. If you’ve ever owned a Trans Am or a jean vest with a back patch you’ll appreciate its obvious influences, and you’ll be knocked out by the power of Mancini’s voice. But I’m interested to hear what happens next, when the band are further removed from its past and operates on their own merits. That’s when we’ll see what the band can do without revenge fueling them.
Highly Recommended


01 – Aurora – Interlude
02 – Queens
03 – Send Me To The Wolves
04 – Domino
05 – Silver Tongue
06 – Undiscovered Paths
07 – Maria’s Song – Interlude
08 – Ease Your Pain
09 – Running
10 – Renaissance – Interlude
11 – Like A Phoenix
12 – P.S.Y.C.H.O
13 – Kiss it Goodbye
14 – Force Of Nature
15 – Fruits Of My Labor
16 – Like A Phoenix (Acoustic Version)

Guernica Mancini – lead and backing vocals
Emlee Johansson – drums, percussion
Mona “Demona” Lindgren – guitar, bass, vocals



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