Review: Bonafide – Flames

Record Info

Label: Off Yer Rocka
Producer: Pontus Snibb and Martin Ekelund
Release date: February 24, 2017
Line-up: Pontus Snibb (vo, g), Anders Rosell (g), Martin Ekelund (b), Niklas Mattsson (dr)

Rating: 9/10
(10: A Master Piece / a future classic, 9: Superb, near perfect, 8: Great, 7: Very good, 6: Good, 5: Average)

Review by Jonas Rydén

2017 Bonafide celebrates their 10th anniversary with the release of their sixth full-length album
Flames. Bonafide, one of the most hardest-working bands in the business with several album releases has been frequent touring over the years. After seeing them live a couple of times I rank them as one of the best live acts in Sweden at the moment. During this spring Bonafide will follow up their latest album with touring in Europe and Sweden.

Bonafide has always stood with their boots deeply buried in the classic rock and roll mud, their latest album does not change this fact. Recorded in the classic Swedish resort Klippan, the guys in Bonafide have recorded a flammable album that sparkles and sizzles, filled with plenty of fat riffs and southern boogie rock inspired by Airbourne, Black Crowes, early AC/DC and the best of the seventies rock. Hardly innovative but this is classic rock and roll when it is at its best and Bonafide know their craftsmanship.

On this album, they show a vital rock band with plenty of spirit whose album title, Flames, makes the album justice. Pontus Snibb, singer and frontman, welcomes us with a “Good afternoon” and then he kickstart the rock and roll machine with the track Back in flames, followed up by Smoke and Fire. Two tracks with plenty of energy which sets the standard for the album and summarize the band, pure rock and roll with a lot of energy.

The fire dies slightly with the anonymous Power Down which is the weakest track on the album but they make up for it by pouring gasoline on the fire with one of the best tracks on the album, Bottle of Jack, which partly could have been taken from the classic AC/DC album “Powerage”.

Written in Stone and Like it now, together with the stomping Keep a safe distance, is soul rock at its best, spiced with powerful gospel choirs. Gotta go belongs to the category “Best track on the album”, where a driven riff together with Niklas Mattsson’s exploding drumming gets the song into full speed.
Flipside groovin is boogie rock with a catchy groove that makes me want to dance. The flames fade into a perfect embers and ends the album perfectly with the bluesy ballad Under your spell.

With Flames, Bonafide proves that they still after 10 years of existence is a vital rock band that is still going strong, and even if the album has some beauty misses and isn’t a perfect album, it is their best album so far. What I miss is a track that gives the band their big break, as a “Highway to Hell” or a “Paradise City”, a song that defines a band. With that I want to say that Bonafide deserves a wider audience and for which they have the potential but Flames is good enough for now.