I’ve been on a steady diet of Stoner Rock for nearly 10 years now, and after so many hours of music digested, there’s not a lot that really blows me away on a first listen.
But that wasn’t the case with Tidal Wave.
Listening to the massive fuzz and urgent vocals on singles like “Robbero Bobbero” literally moved me—I wanted to jump up and down and smash things while walking down the sidewalk on that first listen.
Instead of committing to the destruction of public property, I headed home and grabbed my guitar, hoping I could come up with a new, meaty riff that paralleled anything from The Lord Knows. (Spoiler: I did not.)
For all of its diverse influences (you’ll hear plenty from the ‘80s and the Grunge movement), The Lord Knows is a true Stoner Rock album. It’s heavy, energetic, and (perhaps most importantly) relentless.
About Tidal Wave
Tidal Wave is a Stoner Rock band from Sundsvall, Sweden (check out this list of other awesome Swedish Stoner Rock bands for more). They released their first album, Blueberry Muffin, in 2019.
Tidal Wave is:
- Alexander “Sunkan” Sundqvist – Vocals
- Jesper “Jeeperbahn” Sjödin – Guitar
- Adam “Aden” Nordin – Bass
- Rasmus “Raz” Sundberg – Drums
The Lord Knows was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Anders Svanberg/SPAM Recording, and the album art was developed by Kristoffer Norgren (@Prettyshittyinc on Instagram).
The Lord Knows Album Review
Release Date: January 20, 2023
Label: Ripple Music
Track 1: Lizard King
The initial riff propelling “Lizard King” forward sounds a bit like Priestess (think “Two Kids”), but that similarity ends when Sundqvist’s heavy chest voice enters the track.
While there’s plenty to love on “Lizard King” (and The Lord Knows as a whole), Sundqvist’s voice is consistently the most fascinating element. His voice channels the last 40 years of music—occasionally dipping ever so slightly into the ‘80s Metal operatics, the ‘90s Grunge growl, and that thick, masculine approach of Hard Rock.
Beyond voice, “Lizard King” contains a big, beefy riff punctuated by occasionally piercing high notes to keep everything interesting, and that semi-cosmic guitar solo develops the band’s sound even further.
Track 2: End of the Line
“End of the Line” roars in like a Red Fang track, delivered in a fervent rush. Even the intro vocals seem to soar in as if they’re carried by a towering semi truck speeding through the desert.
“End of the Line” is a high-energy sprint, and it’s the kind of song that makes you want to get up on your feet.
Track 3: Marijuana Trench
After the blast of energy from “End of the Line,” “Marijuana Trench” cools things off with its fuzzy, meandering intro.
But when that verse comes in, the band is back to their quick, animated delivery. The chorus might be lacking in lyrical animation (it’s the same sentiment from “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and so many other love songs), but it’s a fun one to sing along to (and I have personally road-tested it while road-tripping through Ohio).
Track 4: Pentagram
“Pentagram” channels the band’s old-school influences, and you may occasionally hear traces of bands like Trouble and The Obsessed. “Pentagram” is slower, and the riff is deliberate—but it’s not quite doom.
Here, Sundqvist’s vocals are slightly different, and you may occasionally hear a Dio impression during the emotional high points.
Track 5: Robbero Bobbero
“Robbero Bobbero” is a slightly Space Rock-tinged track (think Astroqueen) about a man who gets robbed by the ice cream man.
Even with its silly premise, “Robbero Bobbero” is heavy, and it contains what may be the very best moment in the entire track—and it’s completely void of instrumentation.
There’s a massive rest right before the second chorus, and it’s a powerful moment that gives the entire track a newfound inertia.
Track 6: By Order Of the King
“By Order of the King” carries a big, funky bass line and wild guitars—all reminiscent of bands like Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. But as the band slows down, you might hear something closer to Soundgarden or Alice In Chains.
“By Order of the King” is a marked shift in the album’s sound, taking its cues from the ‘90s instead of the Stoner/Doom scenes.
Track 7: Purple Bird
“Purple Bird” is likely the most emotionally charged song on the album, while its influences from the ’80s and ’90s create a certain sense of painful nostalgia.
Track 8: Thorsakir
After that introduction, “Thorsakir” rocks slow and low—almost like old-school Doom. And after the mad rush of The Lord Knows, “Thorsakir” is a fitting way to conclude the album, especially since it occasionally breaks into quick speeds.
Final Score: 9.5/10
Standout Tracks: “Lizard King,” “Roberro Bobbero,” and “End of the Line”
Pros: There’s a powerful, energetic undercurrent flowing through The Lord Knows that hits hard.
As a casual guitarist myself, songs like “Robbero Bobbero” and “End of the Line” made me want to run off to my guitar to write the coolest, heaviest riffs I could muster.
The band channels that energy flawlessly—even when they’re taking risks. The sudden time signature shifts and variations in tone could have worked against them, but The Lord Knows is a stellar effort.
Cons: I first listened to the songs in The Lord Knows out of order, and it wound up being the worst thing I could have done.
You’ll find a variety of sounds and influences within the album, and I initially held that against the overall record. (For background, the album was written and recorded over a long period of time, so it makes sense that some songs would sound different.)
And while The Lord Knows certainly has very distinct tracks, there is a great deal of flow from one song to the next.
That deliberate flow excuses many of the shifts in sound, and it helps create a cohesive experience.
You could say Tidal Wave is a young band still solidifying your sound (and you’d be somewhat right), but that isn’t a knock against it on this review.
Learn More About Tidal Wave
To learn more about Tidal Wave, visit their Bandcamp page or follow them on social media (Facebook or Instagram).