Release DetailsLABEL Crucial Blast
RELEASED ON 7/12/2005
Service Repair Handbook
posted on 8/2005 By:
Adding to the already impressive crop of 2005 instrumental albums from Pelican, Red Sparrowes and Trephine is Suzukiton’s Service Repair Handbook, an album that was recorded in 2002 and has now been given new life by Crucial Blast. Since that time the Richmond, VA act has gone through several lineup changes, including the departure of co-founder Brian Cox, who you may know from Alabama Thunderpussy. Suzukiton’s style is difficult to categorize, but Service Repair Handbook should find a home with fans of stoner rock as well as math metal. There are even scattered moments (especially during the muted, locomotive chugging “Meatal”) of almost Mastodon-like riffing, although the context is different enough that such a comparison may be misleading.
If asked to sum up Service Repair Handbook in one word, “energetic” would be the only correct answer, but it would be seconded by “unassuming”. At first blush the album seems to be an orgy of amphetamine fueled, circular riffing. Suzukiton may by default belong in the school of stoner rock, but is that kid in class that just can’t sit still—heel pistoning up and down, fingers drumming his desk, head bobbing to the tune in his head. “Tightly wound” is how the Crucial Blast bio describes the band’s sound, as there is probably no better description. But just beneath the surface of the upbeat and good time elements (Suzukiton is perfect drinking music), the band is unassumingly, but impressively, technical and dynamic. Effusive energy and understated proficiency don’t seem to belong together, but ultimately this is what pushes Service Repair Handbook over the bar.
Unlike many of their instrumental brethren, Suzukiton have no use for lengthy, sprawling arrangements, preferring to deliver brief, focused blasts of propulsive metal. Most of the thirteen tracks are about two minutes long; the longest is the four-minute, “Shit Trigger”, whose elongation feels like a 100 yard dash with mandatory rest stops. The band chugs and grooves through a mostly seamless set of songs, and the moments that deviate from that high-octane formula provide equal rewards. To wit, the slowly loping groove and feedback of “Rogue Mechanica” never moves out of second gear, and then there’s the fabulous and aptly titled closer, “Slow Song”, a bleary-eyed, mellow exaltation of down home, southern fried moodiness. These moments are welcome amidst the otherwise raucous tone of the album. Those songs tend to fold together cleanly, but songs like “Meatal”, “Aquachimp”, “R&T”, and the manic lurching of “VIII” seem to rise above their peers. It will be interesting to see how Suzukiton follows their debut album, which was created several years ago and with some musicians who’ve since moved along. Regardless, Service Repair Handbook is a solid effort that offers something unique.
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