Classic rock band BONAFIDE was formed by singer/guitarist Pontus Snibb in Malmö, southern Sweden, in 2006. Guitar player Mikael Fässberg, drummer Niklas Matsson and bass player Martin Ekelund joined him. Their mission was to play Hard Rock the way it´s supposed to be played: True to it´s roots in the electric blues and early R´n´B.
In December 2011, BONAFIDE made their UK debut at the Hard Rock Hell Festival. The band continued to do shows around the UK, culminating in a show at London´s Islington O2 Academy.
The band have now released their third full length album ‘Ultimate Rebel’. A full scale world tour is planned to coincide with this release.
We listened to ‘Ultimate Rebel’ and here’s what we thought:
‘Make My Own Rules’ has a calamitous uproar of drums that comes at you – fighting mad. It has a sparkling infusion of riffs. Pontus Snibb’s vocals sound as though they are strained through a pair of stripper’s stockings (think Chappo.) The chorus reminded us of AC / DC. It has that exquisite kick of acid guitar solo just where you need it. Right in your face. This song gives it to you. Long and hard.
‘The Mess’ has a riff that rips apart your spangled pants and lets all the fresh air in. The insistent beat rams home the point, as it rummages through your unprotected tenderloins, and it only leaves when a squelchy guitar pounces in to take possession of the remaining tattered pieces. Those vocals heave and sigh. And this song leaves you thinking that, if regret really is this slinky, there is room for a bit more.
Riff-based ‘Too Fired Up’ reminded us of vintage ‘Boston’ (1976) especially that glistening lead guitar from Mikael Fässberg. This song will anoint you and then it will release you. And track ‘Doing The Pretty’ has a storm of percussion that will make you spasm and discharge. Tight, fast and ‘Riding Hard’. It will crush you and corrupt you!
‘Blue Skies Red’ is the centerpiece of this exhilarating album. Weighty and serious. This whole composition, and especially the chorus, favourably recalls ‘Rainbow’ during their ‘sword and sorcery’ period. An irreverent riff sneers at you, as the bass chugs manfully along. Then you will feel the full wind in your face. As your bike rips a path through the burning tar, as you head into the desert sun. The trip is oh so worth it. If you can hold on tight you will be rewarded with a conclusion of melting magnificence.
Bristly streamers of guitar fly and flay in the wind as the song ‘Rough Cut’ veers into view. The riff kinda reminded us of something by Jefferson Starship’s Paul Kantner. Crunchy and clever. And it has that certain seventies whiff.
Then continuing their journey through the history of classic rock – Bonafide’s brash, ballistic and brave-hearted ‘Rag and Bone Man’ song will almost definitely remind you of Welsh heavy-metal darlings Budgie.
The album concludes with ‘Rebel Machine’ which is a juicy, blues based, jeering rock number. Dirty, fuming and unforgiving. The drums spatter and fizz. The bass opens up full throttle. Whilst the dusty vocals grab hold of your pants and start to twist and grind. Then that gaping guitar slides in- and you have to cling onto something to stop crying, and you pray. The liberation found in the climax of this song is sure to make you wilt. But you will droop gracefully and gratefully.
– © Neil_Mach August 2012 –