There is no doubt about it. Sweden’s Bonafide are doing an excellent job of keeping a long established tradition alive. Theirs is a no fuss, straight on, fun loving brand of blues based rock music that acts as a great reminder of just how great uncomplicated quality rock can be.
In front man Pontus Snibb they have someone who brings years of experience playing with the likes of Jason & The Scorchers, Eric Bibb, Stacey Collins, Warner Hodges, and Charlie Musselwhite to name but a few. His solo career has brought us his style of countrified rock and blues and placed him firmly at the top of the Swedish blues scene. It is that blues tradition and his distinctive voice that adds that extra dimension to Bonafide and separates them from the pack.
Making up Bonafide are bass player Micke Nilsson, drummer Sticky Bomb, and guitarist Mikael Fassberg. Fassberg has worked alongside former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno and Nazareth’s Manny Charlton. Together Bonafide combine to produce a tight, driving force that allows them to really let loose and play some good old blues-rock. This is a band that lists, among others, The Faces, Humble Pie, Bad Company, Free, and AC/DC as their influences, and they have definitely taken those names to their heart as they deal out a driving blues tinged, vibrating, foot stomping album. This, the self titled Bonafide, is now bringing in well earned rave reviews and justifiably so.
Opening with “Down”, a glorious scene setter if ever there was one, they simply don’t take their foot off creative throttle throughout. “Loud Bang” has them sounding uncannily like early Bon Scott AC/DC in the “Sin City” era. Of course, this is said as a mighty compliment. Snibb’s blues soaked voice is in simply great form and “Going For The Kill” and “Hard Case To Break” underline his credentials in huge black ink. “50 Cent Millionaire” basks in the blues and “Firewall” has more than a brilliant touch of Free or Bad Company about it. This is a band that doesn’t just pay homage to the great and the good but in another age would have been right up there with them.
“Can’t Get Through” confirms this – big time. An album with no filler, no cracks, and no misfires is rare indeed and when “Peg Legged Pete” comes on you really know you are onto something special. The band plays it straight and uncomplicated and allows Snibb the perfect stage to show off that voice.
“Gambling Blues” is a glorious blues walk through and “Night Time” hangs onto its shadow, adds female singers, and brings the album to an end. Pontus Snibb may not be a household name or even sound like one but he has found the perfect platform to demonstrate that he really should be. He has a voice that is a rare gem and one that should gain wider recognition.
With Bonafide, the band has come up with an album that should have them being booked here, there, and everywhere. Mind you, if you are booking them as support, make sure you can follow them! On the basis of this album, that is a real consideration.