15 February 2015

Bonafide - Denim Devils



This is a band I have heard a lot about, but have never listened to.  The name has been mentioned by a lot of my friends who dig classic rock big style, I have heard good things about their tours; but I have just not gone near them yet.  I guess it is due to the fact that when it comes to modern bands doing classic rock, I have been burnt once too often ; Airbourne, Black Stone Cherry, acts of that ilk always turn out to be a real disappointment to me.  It is not as if they are doing anything wrong, they are just not doing anything right.  Also, whilst there is still some of the originals going, why go for something that sounds like the originals?  Well, I thought I would challenge those opinions that I hold and try out the sixth album from the Swedish export.  I will be truly honest, I might not be the best person in the team for reviewing this band; just from giving it a brief listen, I know that Mr Richardson from the team will adore this record.  So, will it be rock or has the devil taken more than the band margined for?

Starting the album is the boogie rock intro “Round And Round” which starts off a bit like Status Quo when they were still the hard rockers of old, mixed with a dash of AC/DC and the persistence of Motorhead.  It is over in just over two minutes and sounds like it is in a hurry to get there, but it does not sound tired or well-trended; it is contemporary and as refreshing as a beverage of choice after a long day from whatever job or activity ties you out.  It is a little gem that opens this record perfectly and rolls into “Hold Down The Fort” that could have been wrote by AC/DC during their ‘Highway To Hell’ period.  It stomps all over the place, the riffs drop with effortless ease, the back unit sounds tight and if hard rock is your type of music then this song will ticket all you boxes.  Even though I am not the biggest fan of this style, I found myself smiling a lot whilst listening to this song – I call that a victory to Bonafide on that one.  Next is “Killer” which is the ode to the devil woman who can take whatever she wants, does not give a damn and continues to get away with it.  It is sort of refreshing to see that the woman is winning here, even if it is through these boys crying foul – more power to her! As for the song itself, it keeps the momentum up and the good times are still rolling with this number.  Another very good example of how to handle hard rock, this time it does not remind me of other bands and this is another very good sign.  “Get A Grip” is not a cover of the Aerosmith anthem, but a hard love song that tells people to get up and get motivated.  It is not as powerful as other songs on the record, but the thought behind it is a refreshing change; there is more of a blues taint to this number and it does have its own charms that take a little while to show themselves.

Fifth track “50/50” is a power rock number, just very basically done and I am sure I can hear a drum blog being hit in the background.  They are mixing the sound here, with some Australian power blended up with a huge dose of Southern American boogie. The track is brief and to the point again, it is also another number that made me smile a lot and is that what this sort of music is for?  The tempo is slowed down slight with the next track “Good Stuff”, but the good times are not ending.  This anthem to one of the main pillars of hard rock music (sex) is what some people would refer to as workman like; it is simple, does what it says on the tin without really going above and beyond the point of service.  It is the first track on the album which has not exceeded what I was expecting, it has matched what I imagined this would be like and whilst it is not the best number for me, it is still a song which I feel will go down well with their target audience. “Rock ‘N’ Roll Lifestyle” is a party anthem, the opening intro states that the band are out to party and do not give a damn who gets in their way as they are coming through.  It is OTT, silly and juvenile – and against all of my logic, I really enjoyed it.  It is brattish, but that is the point of this number – it is meant to be the number which brings the rock community together for a good time and a party.  It is also a stomping blues hard rock number which works in their favour – I was really expecting to hate it when it started and I am so glad I kept with it; it is just a fun number looking for a good time, also it is 1,000,000% better than anything by Steel Panther.  After this we have “One Kiss” which is just flat out, downright silly sing-along fun! This song reminds me a lot of Little Angels, just the catchy quality of the number and it is also the best tune of the album, it stands out head and shoulders above the rest of the record - if you only listen to one song of this record, let it be this one!

"Who Am I To Judge" is the ninth track on this record, to be honest it would have taken a really special song to surpass the joy that is "One Kiss"; but whilst this song does not have that special passion of the previous, it is also a really good number which does not mess with the formula - straight and simple, it keeps it very basic and without complications.  The blues/rock vibe of the number is really well performed it and it does not outstay its welcome.  "Missing You" is the required ballad which has to be placed on any hard rock album; I do not know what bands feel that it is needed on each album, but if they feel that it is what they want to do then who am I to say different.  For what it is worth, it is well played and no worse than other track I have heard of this ilk; but it is not for me if I am honest.  The penultimate track "The Game" which brings back the energy and has that pounding rhythm that makes the toe tap, the body want to dance, the head to nod and the party to keep on going.  It does not need to be rocket science, it just need to be simple and to the point - with this number, it just sort of makes sense out of most of the album.  However, that was not the ending track; the ending track is called "This One Is For You" and this is the fastest song of the album, it is also much like the best percentage of the record and keeps things on the hard rock stomping path that I have been expecting - in other words, it is just brilliant.

I will be honest, before this hearing this album I was not expecting anything; however, I always like to give bands a chance as you never know the result.  The result here is just a really fun record that does not give a damn who likes it, just acts as if it is the king all that it can see.  Is it a brilliant album? In a given context, yes it is; it will not be one that will be played in the hipster paradises scattered around the world - but that is not what this album is about.  It has so little to do with that sort of thing, it is not a pro-tooled piece of cookie dough massed produced shite, it is just a hard rock, balls out, does not give a shit album that makes even someone who does not really get hard rock as much as he does really complicated jazz.  I really enjoyed this album, it is just a very honest record that makes this man feel incredibly young again.  So, time to get onto the back catalogue I think....

8 out of ten - Oh now you have my heart, my time and my money

Top track - One Kiss


You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Bonafide website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link for you

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