Saturday, July 10, 2010

Truckfighters: Mania

It's been a while since I've bought any new music. Budgetary cutbacks maybe but also I have so much to listen to in my collection already. Last week I finally broke down and made two purchases: Danzig's "Deth Red Sabaoth" and Truckfighters "Mania. Danzig will get a review very soon, but first I want to talk about the new Truckfighters.

First of all Truckfighters "Mania" was released in 2009. It is still in import status here in the U.S. but is available for download for $8.99 over at Amazon. The Truckighters have been one of my favorite bands as of late. This is their third full length album. Many might look at them as a somewhat derivative Kyuss clone from Sweden but if you look underneath there is so much more.

First of all, these guys take their desert rock seriously. Heavy and disorienting as a blinding dust storm, the Truckfighters bring the 100 plus degree tempuratures on and you can feel it in every note they play. Massive face melting riffs, thundering bass...everything you could ask for. Look a bit closer. There is a huge King Crimson influence lying just underneath...most of their work has a King Crimson "Red" era feel to it. Deep dark shuddering, dissonant bass, slightly atonal guitar work, volatile time changes that crush you at the drop of a hat, a skewed sense of melody...all the while threatening to give you whiplash from irresistible head banging grooves. Add to it the smooth melodic Ian Astbury-esque vocals and you have a winner every time.

"Mania" builds on the momentum of their first two works. Their first album "Gravity X" was very straightforward and downright irresistible. It's a classic and hard to beat. Their second one "Phi" was very angular, darker and deeper. Their latest one is a cross between the two, bringing in the hooks more so but at the same time keeping things as trippy as possible. They bring in some space rock touches here and there and also add a bit of a Led Zeppelin feel towards the end on "Monster". The song wrtiting is clearly the best of their career on this album. The first track "Last Curfew" slowly builds...quiet and subdued with a nice bass line and subtle guitar makes me wish I was in the desert right now. It draws you into the album and then you're hooked. The second track "Monte Gargano" blows your head off and blasts you into space with seriously catchy almost poppy hooks. The third track "The New High" is classic shaking, head banging desert metal with choruses so catchy they rival The Misfits or Fu Manchu at times. As the disc progresses, things grow stranger, and darker, heavier, and more hallucinatory as you begin to question your sanity. All in all an incredible work. Is it their best effort yet? I personally prefer their first release "Gravity X' for the sheer energy level alone. "Mania" is a very strong release, however. You can't go wrong with any of their three albums. I suggest getting them all, but that's just me...

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