Release DetailsLABEL Fuzzorama Records
RELEASED ON 2/7/2006
posted on 9/2006 By:
What do you get when a bunch of Swedes decide to make music? Tenth generation Gothenburg melodeath would be a good guess but the Truckfighters actually manage to deliver some of the best desert baked stoner rock I’ve heard in a long, long time. Regardless of their location thousands of miles from the California scene that has spawned many of the genre greats, it's clear the Truckfighters have absorbed all those influences and used them to craft an album that offers up a full spectrum of classic stoner rock goodness.
Hewing greatly to the conventions of the genre-muddy guitars, distorted fuzzy bass and seven/eight minute songs-their style falls somewhere between Kyuss’s knack for rambling, exploratory space rock offshoots and Fu Manchu’s “lets keep this train running on time” down to business style. Like Kyuss, this blend of hard and heavy and light and airy makes for some heady, sometimes incongruous moments and the occasional overly long jam but they always manage to anchor it with one, if not a few solid, straight forward grooves that appeal to those of us that prefer our rock like our whiskey - straight up. This is easily their most divisive quality as most of the songs are a blend of these two styles which can test your patience if you’re looking for straight rock or disturb your tranquil mood if you’re just looking to chill. But if you can keep up with the altering tempos and tones, this is a pretty rewarding album.
Besides the pronounced similarities to Kyuss, the thing that originally got me hooked is the absolutely filthy bass and guitar sound. It’s reminiscent of the muscular rock sound of John Garcia’s post Kyuss band Unida but even more distorted and beastly. Sometimes you can’t even tell if it’s the guitars or bass driving the unholy low end until the guitars start hitting some of the higher notes. Not that I heard anything but their radio hits but it’s somewhat like the Morphine inspired bassitar sound of The Presidents Of The United States Of America but with far more distortion. I think it’s worth noting in detail as it’s not every day you come across something this heavy, even in a genre known for pushing the limits of the bottom end.
While the music is stellar, the one area they don’t quite deliver on is the vocals. The front man doesn’t have the commanding presence of a John Garcia or Dave Wyndorf so he settles for running the vocals through a distorted voice box most of the time. Or he just doesn’t sing at all, instead allowing the music to take center stage. When he does sing it’s more than acceptable, not really detracting from the sound but not adding anything special to the mix either.
Another potential negative is the sheer mass of this record. It tops out at sixty-eight minutes, with plenty of it devoted to non-linear space rock passages, so this is not a quick, easily consumed burst of energy or something you just casually pop in the CD player. This feeling is even more pronounced by the purposeful blending of the songs from one to the next, giving you a feeling that this is an actual album rather than a collection of songs grouped together. But if you’re an ISIS fan, or any of the like, you won’t have any problem with this as you’re used to devoting large quantities of time to get to the good stuff.
This is as varied and as exciting a group of stoner rock songs you’re going to find these days. It’s heavily influenced by the best bands of the past but skirts any issues of derivativeness with their deft ability to craft surprisingly lush arrangements even though this is their first full length record. It goes without saying that if you’re a big Kyuss fan this is pretty much a mandatory purchase.
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