Ultimate Rebel

01. Make My Own Rules
02. The Mess
03. Too Fired Up
04. Doing The Pretty
05. Blue Skies Red
06. Rough Cut
07. Rag And Bone Man
08. I Want Out
09. Pick A Window (You’re Leaving)
10. Rebel Machine

Mikael Fässberg (Guitar)
Pontus Snibb (Vocals & Guitar)
Niklas Matsson (drums)
Martin Ekelund (bass)

Bonafide (2008)
Something's Dripping (2009)
Fill Your Head with Rock - Old, New, Tried & True (EP 2011)


Produced by Pontus Snibb
recorded at Gig Studio in Stockholm
Engineered by Conny Wall

Released 15/8-2012
Reviewed 30/8-2012


I know it might be hard to believe, but I don't like criticizing bands at all. I would much rather want that all music delivered to me to be good and that I could acknowledge it since then I'd had plenty of good albums to listen to and much more fun when revieweing all these albums I get. Unfortunately that's not the case. Most albums that are released aren't anything special and plenty of them are actually pretty bad. But I can't just stop criticizing band only because I don't like doing it because then I'd lose all my credibility as a reviewer since you're not trustworthy when all you do is give positive criticism. That's just a fact.

Before this, I've only reviewed one Bonafide release but for the past three years I've given this band more than one taunt for their music. The reason why I've done that is not because i think Bonafide is the exception and that I find it amusing to complain on the Swedes. I've done it because I think what Bonafide does is to slowly kill the music. When I say this I'm guessing there's plenty of you readers out there with a facial expression shaped as an angry question mark and want to shout "how the hell could you kill music by playing music?" to me. Well, it's true that Bonafide plays music and not professionally killing musicians as a living nor arranging record burnings. It is also true that Bonafide isn't a band filling their albums with random noise but actually writing their music and playing their instruments so that it becomes… music. And it sounds pretty alright too. It's just that the end result is nothing but a clutter of music from the past collected and merged together.

If I wanted to I could spend this entire review name dropping classic bands that Bonafide has been "inspired" by when creating their music. it's just that it feels pretty unnecessary to waste a review by doing that. however, I will go beyond the common name drop of AC/DC and actually mention ten other bands that it seems like Bonafide think they are: Motörhead, Whitesnake, ZZ-Top, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rainbow, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Uriah Heep and Led Zeppelin. And then AC/DC of course for more reasons than Pontus Snibb sounding exactly like the AC/DC vocalist. Of course, Bonafide isn't any of these bands nor as good as them but it's obvious where they find their inspiration.

I really don't understand the whole concept of Bonafide, what they had in mind when they formed this band. Was it always their idea to make something that completely lacked all form of personality and own creativity or did it just end up like that? Everything, and by that I mean everything, on this album - just like their earlier releases, sounds like so-so copies of the earlier mentioned bands. It doesn't sound exactly like any of them, but exactly like some half hearted merging between them. The strange thing though is that people seems to like it, not just the everyday hard rocker, but critics as well. And this all just confirms my general opinion about people - they don't want anything new, they only want the same old things they've always had. The bare thought of something different scares people, which is extra noticeable within the world of music. Just look what happens every time a band changes members - especially when it's the vocalist. People make outcries about it, they boycott the band and say all kind of nasty stuff about them and don't even care what the reasons are for members changing. If a band make a change in sound the same thing happens. Just look at the fact that cover bands and troubadours without an own repertoire often get gigs easier than many new and coming band with their own songs. That shows the attitude people have - recognizable is profitable and Bonafide seems to have figured that out. Unfortunately.

'Ultimate Rebel' might not have any covers but their music is all just one big blanket of classic old hard rock, but lacking all the warmth of an own personality and something that is characteristic for Bonafide and nothing else. If you like the old, classic hard rock you'll probably join in on the cheers for this band because this is the "good old stuff" - the way they made it. But the rest of us, most of us - those of us who doesn't want the "good old stuff" - we have nothing to gain from this music because it's not something that comes from them, it comes from those, those bands we menthioned. Bonafide doesn't contribute with anything new at all for the world of music and hence my opinion about them slowly killing the music stands even after playing 'Ultimate Rebel' twelve times. If anything they've only made that opinion stronger.

An album that is good… to some of us. But not to most of us...




Label: Rootsy/Warner
Three similar bands: AC/DC/ZZ-Top/Motörhead
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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