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“Watch Out” by Thundermother

Hard rock’s revival has been hard-fought and long-awaited, but it’s not coming from the mainstream element at all. On the contrary, it’s being born of an underground spirit that can’t be slowed down once it gets started, and in their new single “Watch Out,” Thundermother is embodying this spirit with a truly inspiring tenacity. Rather than putting all of their stock in oversized guitar parts and raging riff-rock rhythms, Thundermother is experimenting with sonic depth in this single, and making it more than clear how committed to volume they are over pseudo melodic trappings too common in pop/rock today.

The lead vocal in this track isn’t topping a guitar part but instead attacking us with the same kind of intensity we would expect out of an instrumental element, if not more. Thundermother has an affinity for physicality, and they aren’t limiting it to one corner of this mix for anything. In some ways, it would have been too predictable to stick with a stock approach to the harmony here, and by making almost everything larger than life, they circumvent issues a lot of their peers face on the regular.

There’s so much adrenaline coming into the latter half of the song, commencing with the guitar solo, that it’s hard to believe the backend of “Watch Out” doesn’t sport an overwhelming amount of melodic weight. Truth be told, Thundermother are just that good at being efficient performers, which is an attribute that has evaded so much of their indie competition for the better part of the last five years. Rock might have struggled with egos for numerous eras in its history, but these are musicians who care more for substance than they do anything in the cosmetic realm, which is why they’ve got as fierce a look as they do in this single and its video.

You can feel the chemistry between these players from the moment they start playing forward, and even though they’re a recent discovery to me, I get the impression that the sound they’re cultivating isn’t something they could have developed on the fly. These are artists invested in the framework of their sound, and musically speaking, they’ve got a much more cohesive profile than what most of the buzz-worthy acts in rock have been putting out lately (and that’s even taking into account the sharp uptick in hot talent within the genre this year).

If you haven’t already seen the music video for “Watch Out,” you need to make a point of checking it out before the month is over. Between the heavy metal-style luster of the aesthetical setup here and the way the soundtrack fits the visuals on screen, the star power Thundermother has is not up for debate in this release, and something tells me that we’re only seeing a taste of what they’re able to do when they’ve got complete control of the studio environment. “Watch Out” lives up to its title, and we’re bound to see more of what this band is made of in their next release.

Mindy McCall



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