Have a listen to: "The Contract"
Truckfighters – V
Release Date: 30th September 2015
Album number 5 for Desert Rock heavyweights Truckfighters is a strong follow-up to 2014’s ‘Universe’ (my personal favourite record of theirs). But does it hit the marks to make it a classic album in their back catalogue?
When you listen to a lot of bands in this genre, some things become familiar such as certain riffs, phrases, scales and notes that get used over and over. Fortunately bands find new and inventive ways to use these tools and the Truckfighters have always been masters of catching you off guard. Be it with different, less traditional song structures as of late, Truckfighters have been blending an atmospheric feel whilst retaining their explosiveness and mastery of Fuzz!
Album opener ‘Calm Before The Storm’ sets a somber tone for the beginning of the record as bassist/vocalist Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm croons beautifully over the soft guitar melodies before the song intensifies and the guitars explode with the thick fuzz and explosive riffs that we’ve all come to know and love from the Truckfighters. A very strong opener for the record.
‘Hawkshaw’ wastes no time in getting to the point, with the bass and drums opening the song in a heavy fashion, the verses take a step back from the loud guitars to add more contrast and colour to the song. The guitar tones again are absolutely on point and the chorus riff and vocals are contagious – one of the segments of the album that keeps drawing me back to it.
‘The 1’ is in your face from the get go and I would implore listeners to play this track as loud as you can get away with for maximum impact, just as the song was intended. The tones from Niklas Källgren aka ‘Dango’’s guitar are rich and varied yet again on this song. The song itself doesn’t have any lengthy atmospheric sections so it feels a little bit more like ‘old school’ Truckfighters, if you will.
‘Gehenna’ has an intensity to it, but the song remains largely forgettable to me. The drums carry the pace of the song well, leaving the guitar to play around with some of those signature melodies that only Dango can do so well. But other than that there isn’t a great deal to sink your teeth into.
‘The Contract’ is the standout song on the album for me. It builds up immensely and the song remains slow for the first few minutes. It feels like a large continuation of the musical themes from the previous album ‘Universe’, using atmosphere and intensity in the first half of the song until the entire band explodes a couple of minutes in. Every cylinder of this mean Truckfighting machine is ablaze as the riffs, vocal hooks and thunderous bass go on an all out aural assault for the chorus before they bring it back down again just a tad for the verses. I have to say as much as I love the riffs on this track, the expert changing of timings on the drums really glues the guitars together well on this track. As if the instruments weren’t great enough on this track, I also think it’s the standout track for vocals on this album as well, even if they are a little quiet in the mix.
‘Fiend’ marries the notes on the guitar well with the vocals and is a heavy track, but again like ‘Gehenna’ I feel it is overshadowed by some of the longer songs on this album. But it’s all about what you want out of a Truckfighters song; if you want heavy and loud guitars this is a song for you. The main riff is lacklustre and isn’t up to the standard of other songs on the album.
Album closer ‘Storyline’ has that ‘it’ factor for an album closer. It has the emotion and the guts to stick with you once the track is over. The beautiful acoustic guitar on pre-chorus accompanied by some of the best singing on the album makes that main riff and the entire band erupt into a fuzz frenzy for the chorus and I’ll admit, on the first few listens I didn’t find this to be a very strong song to close the album on but upon listening further it’s rich with everything I’ve come to love about Truckfighters exiting the album with mellow acoustics was a bold and wise choice.