Born in 2006 and coming from Sweden are hard rockers Bonafide. Since their conception they have worked like dogs, touring extensively with the likes of Status Quo, Europe, Deep Purple, and last year Airboune. Their new record “Denim Devils” is their fifth offering and it was recorded in bassist Martin Ekelund’s own personal studio Lemon Recordings, in their homeland. Their now trademark AC/DC and Airbourne like sound is largely stuck to, and it does yield some juicy fruit. Lead single ‘Hold Down the Fort’ with it’s message of defiant loyalty to friends is an absolute belter. ‘Killer’ with it’s proto metal riff and shouting chorus, and ’50/50′ with it’s frenetic energy and liberal use of cowbell are all golden examples of their simplistic, meat and potatoes, approach to rock.
Alas this approach can become quite tiresome, especially if you lack the anthems that AC/DC or Airboune have. Unfortunately filler rears it’s ugly head, and it risks becoming too derivative. With ‘Good Stuff’ not living up to it’s name and the inert ending duo ‘The Game’ and ‘This One’s For You’ not leaving a discernible impact. The boneheaded ‘Rock n Roll Lifestyle’ is the worst culprit; four minutes of pure cliché.
When they deviate from their four to the floor formula the best results come. ‘One Kiss’ with it’s infectious chorus and Thin Lizzy guitar flourishes. ‘Missing You’ is perhaps the best instance of this, a mellow pseudo ballad with hints of Bad Company. Showing that when lead songsmith and vocalist Pontus Snibb varies the ingredients like this, the songs are the better for it. Showing it doesn’t always have to be 3 to 4 minutes of hedonistic riffage. The funky circular riff of ‘Get a Grip’ is also a breath of fresh air and brings Red Hot Chili Peppers to mind.
More of the same from Bonafide, providing great little energetic rock songs but unfortunately some turgid filler as well. More importantly this record shows the promise of what could be if they broaden their scope past Angus Young.