Wednesday 15 January 2014

Truckfighters - Universe - Album Review

Universe Cover


4th February 2014

The band:

Ozo (Oskar Cedermalm) - vocals and bass
Dango (Niklas Källgren) - guitar
Poncho (Andre Kvarnström) - drums

The songs:

1. Mind Control
2. The Chairman
3. Prophet
4. Get Lifted
5. Convention
6. Dream Sale
7. Mastodont

The excitement to receive the new Truckfighters album, 'Universe', was tangible to say the least and I couldn't wait to press play and hear their great music. And what a release it is although there is a snake in paradise that could have sent everything on to see what I mean. However, since the Truckfighters are who they are they side-step obstacles easily and more than deliver as usual.

'Mind Control' is a full tilt in-yer-face slab of excellent desert sounds. Starting off like it was played in a tin can the song suddenly explodes as the Truckfighters takes control of my mind. Ozo reminds me a bit of Ian Astbury and that works perfectly with the band's sonic attack. 'The Chairman' is kind of chaotic, schizophrenic and trippy for the most part especially the guitar that plays over the groovy rhythms of the bass and drums. But just like that the Truckfighters throws down the gauntlet and annihilates with heavy riffs laying everything to waste. And this is how this one plays out switching back and forth between the mind-frying core of the song and the heavy segments.

I have to admit it took me a little bit to get 'Prophet', the first single off this album, and I'm still struggling with it although it's growing. To me this would be an out-and-out indie pop song if it wasn't for Dango's riffing and those who knows me know that indie pop doesn't go well with me at all. Cudos for daring to change things around and not follow genre standards but if it wasn't for Dango's guitar work, 'Prophet' could have sent 'Universe' tumbling down a black hole for eternal anonymity.

The trippiness is back on 'Get Lifted' thankfully as they up the ante. A bit slower than the other songs the band takes me on a trip and a half. Leaning back with closed eyes I transcend and enter a whole new dimension. The visions shown before me pulse to the rhythm of the music and I cleanse myself in this galactic vortex. Great stuff! Thinking I'm going to come down slowly after this amazing trip is quickly squashed as the extremely short but great 'Convention' catapults to me into a maelstrom of craziness. When I am on the border of total surrender the song abrutptly ends leaving me gasping for breath.

Starting off on the more mellow side 'Dream Sale' erupts before twisting and turning it's way through this web of intricacies and all-out stoner heaviness. Can I be blamed for going bonkers listening to this? I think not! Truckfighters end 'Universe' with the 14-minute mastodon called...'Mastodont'. Going for such a long playtime can be devasting but not for the Truckfighters. Just about the whole album is represented in this one with every little piece is carefully planned and excellently executed, meaning everything plays an important part. Once the track it's over it feels like only a few minutes has passed and that means they've done something good.

I'm glad my fellow Swedes are back with a new album especially when it is as good as 'Universe'. True, there is a black spot on this beautiful canvas but don't let that deter you, it certainly hasn't deterred me. You either skip that part or you listen to it and allow it to grow. Since the other 6 songs are so good I let them envelop me and I absorb all the greatness this band has to offer..because this is too good to be ignored, you hear!

Written by Håkan Nyman

Thanks to Carl at Action PR for sending us a promo to review. Universe will be out on Fuzzorama Records from Feb 4th 2014 on CD/DD/Vinyl.

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