Saturday 28 January 2023

Tidal Wave - The Lord Knows (Album Review)

Release Date: January 20th 2023. Record Label: Ripple Music. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Lord Knows: Tracklisting
1.Lizard King 04:08
2.End Of The Line 03:33
3.Marijuana Trench 06:28
4.Pentagram 05:44
5.Robbero Bobbero 04:38
6.By Order Of The King 05:37
7.Purple Bird 05:07
8.Thorsakir 05:56


Alexander "Sunkan" Sundqvist - Vocals
Jesper "Jeeperbahn" Sjödin - Guitar
Adam "Aden" Nordin - Bass
Rasmus "Raz" Sundberg - Drums


The Lord Knows is the new album from Swedish Grunge/Fuzz/Stoner Metallers Tidal Wave and is a major step up in quality compared to their debut album which I’m a huge fan of. On this album Tidal Wave embraces a more thunderous sound that marches through the hey-day of 80’s and 90’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal with a few unexpected heavy grooves along the way.

For thi album, Tidal Wave employs a wicked sounding Grunge/Fuzz/Stoner Meal hybrid sound with a lush sounding Psychedelic backdrop. 

Opening song Lizard King is a song that could only come from the Swedish underground Stoner scene. As it crackles with genuine FUZZ based excitement and has elements of bands such as DOZER and LOWRIDER into the mix. The music is easily addictive with the Desert Rock based FUZZ and subdued grungy melodic grooves. Throw in some heavy 80’s based Hard Rock guitar riff worship and Sunkan’s energetic vocals and Tidal Wave become more and more like a KICK-ASS modern day Stoner Rock/Metal band.

Second song End Of The Line is another fast-paced offering with the band using a harsher style of  content especially with the lyrics. The Stoner Metal grooves are spliced with 80’s Heavy Metal riffs for a darker style of music that comes into play on the later stages of the album. This has a similar style setup that KVELERTAK uses for their music. So expect moments of bleak sounding melodies and commercial metal sounding parts combining for a first rate riff-centric adventure.

Third song Marijuana Trench is a gloomy WEEDIAN offering with the FUZZ sound becoming more wicked and slightly distorted especially when the classic Fuzz/Stoner sounds appear. Tidal Wave can’t help themselves inject that 80’s Thrash Metal appetite into the mix with Sunkan’s “Devil May Care” vocals being one of the best parts of the song. The music is quite surreal at times but Tidal Wave have a great talent for writing music that can be classed as Stoner and Heavy Metal at the same time. 

Fourth song Pentagram was a major surprise as Tidal Wave hit upon an almost Black Metal atmosphere for this track that allows the band to play the darkest and heaviest grooves on the album. The song is distinctively grungy and seedy but Tidal Wave operates in the Blackened Doom Metal world. There’s still traces of FUZZ and STONER based music here but Sunkan’s vocals are more of a twisted ringleader compared to the other tracks on the album. The music is slightly slower and distorted with Pentagram having devilish fun with the fantastic lyrics allowing this song to be the standout track on the album.

The second half of the album sees Tidal Wave continuing to defy genre conventions and harsher tones to their music but still keeping within the WEEDIAN and FUZZ based methodology on tracks such as: Robbero Bobbero, By Order Of The King, Proper Bird and Thorsakir.

I will say Robbero Bobbero and Torsakir are perhaps my favourite moments from the second half of the album with Tidal Wave showing a wide range of versatility with the creative choices they make for these songs. These tracks feel that Tidal Wave have taken a Sledgehammer approach to the Stoner Rock/Metal sound and give it an exciting Heavy Metal makeover whilst still retaining the albums earlier hybrid approach. There’s a cracking “Post-Whatever” atmosphere on the later stage of the album that allows Tidal Wave to include some excellent Psychedelic and NWOBHM guitars.

I can see why widely respected underground label Ripple Music signed these guys to their always impressive roster. As Tidal Wave offers something familiar and vastly different within the underground Hard Rock scene. 

The Lord Knows is an unexpected delight from start to finish which is benefited by wonderful sounding production values which isn’t surprising coming from Ripple Music. However, this is Tidal Wave's time to shine and that they ultimately do on this must have release.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Purple Sage PR for the promo.

The Lord Knows will be available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Ripple Music EU and Ripple Music USA.