Fuzzier than Fuzzy Felt, that’s an actual line in this review
It’s is, you have to say, jolly decent of Truckfighters to give their new album such a name. Give or take the odd re-release and vinyl version, it is the Swedes fifth studio record – it is also amongst their most diverse and possibly their best.
Band leader Ozo – a constant in a more or less revolving door of a band comprising half of the musicians in Sweden it seems – has long had more of an ear for light and shade and texture than many, and this has ensured that Truckfighters, (who now comprise Dango on guitar and El Danno on drums along with the bassist), have always had a little more than the fuzzy desert rock sound, and that is definitely the case on “V” .
A collection of just seven tracks such is their labyrinthine nature and length, “V” takes in the slow burning opener “Calm Before The Storm” which winds its way into your conscience in beguiling fashion, is its psychedelic beginning which gives way to the pounding mid-section, having echoes of Monster Magnet and if “Hawkswaw” begins in a much more primal fashion, then that is merely re-enforced with it wrecking ball of a riff.
Even that, though, isn’t as simple as it might have seemed and cannot resist some mellow vocal harmonies, which makes for a real juxtaposition.
“The 1” is a quite brilliant, shiny thumper, with fuzzy riffs a-go-go, and at just over six minutes, is relatively short for this record, and there is a real intricacy about “Gehenna” as well as a mighty monolithic intent to go with it.
“The Contract” pulses with a real anger and there is a feeling that it could cheerfully rip you in to as instead – like so much on this record – it merely pulses. “The Fiend” on the other hand, cannot reasonably be accused of being anything other than rather good – and gets cowbell bonus points.
The closing song “Storyline” is, well, fuzzier than Fuzzy Felt frankly, but Truckfighters willingness to take chances and experiment here is amply shown by the shimmering acoustics that augment it throughout and indeed play the last 90 seconds or so.
A classy work, “V” not only sounds great, but is extremely compelling and hypnotic. It is a desert rock album with a prog rock like heart, and it is all the better for it.