pic by Brooks Reynolds
Yet again Monster Truck lives up to the suggested weightiness of their name with their sound in new album Sittin’ Heavy. The eleven track encounter is a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar embracing a landscape of bold styles and flavours. It is an adventure the Canadian band’s fans have become accustomed to and helped lead their Juno Award nominated debut album Furiosity to rich acclaim and hordes of new appetites two years or so back. Sittin’ Heavy carries on the muscular work of its predecessor, unleashing broad and robust rock ‘n’ roll you can only give full attention to.
The Hamilton, Ontario hailing Monster Truck quickly began stirring up local attention and support when emerging in 2009, backing it up with the release of their Gus Van Go and Werner F (The Stills, Priestess, Hollerado) produced self-titled EP the following year. The band linked up with producer Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats, Three Days Grace) for its successor, The Brown EP in 2011, with surrounding singles pushing the band into the Top 10 on Canadian Rock radio. That initial live success has only accelerated and grown across the years too; tours across North America and Canada as well as supporting shows and festival appearances seeing the quartet sharing stages with the likes of Slash, Deep Purple, Guns N’ Roses, The Sheepdogs, Alice in Chains, ZZ Top, Buckcherry, Rival Sons and many more.
Furiosity put Monster Truck on bigger heavy rock/metal maps with its release in 2013, something the again Ratz recorded/co-produced Sittin’ Heavy will surely stir up and exploit further. Their first offering since signing with Mascot Records, the album charges at and through ears with opener Why Are You Not Rocking. Jabbing beats instantly grip attention before being quickly joined by fiery grooves around hungry riffs. Hitting its rousing stroll in moments, the track is a contagious stomp with the lead vocals of bassist Jon Harvey growling and enticing from within the busy web of Jeremy Widerman’s grooves and the seriously coaxing organ lures of Brandon Bliss. With drummer Steve Kiely inciting further involvement through his rapier like swings, band and song has hips, appetite, and energies ablaze with ease.
Sittin’ Heavy is off to a mighty start which continues as Don’t Tell Me How To Live steps up next; its blues spiced grooves and tenaciously pressing riffs offering potent bait as they crowd the robustly snarling tones of Harvey. The song’s air is almost woozy with the melodic liquor fuelling the richly enticing grooving, their flirtation the lead into the suggestiveness of Widerman’s sonic endeavour and imagination. As the first, the track is a magnetic affair pleasing and simultaneously setting up the emotions and appetite for the even thicker weave of spicy textures and sultry invention that is She’s A Witch. As its predecessor, the song has a groove built net which quickly envelops ears as hips and feet are tempted and urged by the funk infused hooks and flighty flames of blues resourcefulness.
A southern seeded celebration is laid out by For The People next, its character and sound a familiar persuasion yet distinctly sculpted with Monster Truck invention and passion whilst Black Forest allows a rest for the body and inspiration for the imagination with its mellow yet still slightly tempestuous air and reflection. As with the last song, there is a sixties/seventies scented essence to the song; hues which align to a modern heartfelt blues seducing before having to make way for the wonderful discord twisted introduction of Another Man’s Shoes and subsequently its muscularly imposing and evocative body. The track is rock ‘n’ roll at its feverish yet controlled best, another skilful tapestry of textures and energies which Monster Truck, in this album alone, show themselves so accomplished at weaving.
From one pinnacle to another as Things Gets Better strides in with a keys sparked swagger that infests every aspect of the song. There is no escaping the unrelentingly persuasive and anthemic prowess of a song which never breaks into a riot of energy and sound but has the senses and spirit as aroused as if it had. The track also adds more of the flavoursome variety that makes up the album. As great as it is though, it and every song making up Sittin’ Heavy, gets outshone by the sensational incitement of The Enforcer. Straight from the big swinging rhythms which bound in under the control of Kiely, submission to its fiery charm is inevitable and even more assured as the soulful fire of sound and harmonies unite to seduce and stir the spirit. Grooves are almost toxic such their winy intoxication whilst the vocals of Harvey, backed by the rest of the band, simply provide virulent bait. Add biting riffs, piecing hooks, and more creative swing led by the bass revelry of Harvey, and you have one of the most incendiary tracks you are likely to hear this year.
To The Flame takes ears into a tantalising mix of sludge and stoner-esque adventure next. The track almost crawls over the senses whilst leaving a glaze of volcanic seduction, led by Widerman’s sonic lattice and the smothering allure of Bliss’ keys. Compelling the listener into full involvement, the track’s sweltering landscape adds another peak to the lofty range of the album, its success matched and surpassed by the devilishly creative and expressive throes of New Soul. The song has all the hectic and inflamed elements that makes the Monster Truck sound; elements which collude with individual craft and anthemic mastery for lusty rock ‘n’ roll to get hot and sweaty to.
Completed by the gentle, in relation to other songs, emotive embrace of Enjoy The Time, the irresistible Sittin’ Heavy is a band revelling in the varied strains of rock ‘n’ roll and their imagination in uniting them with their own invention. That in turn has ears and emotions similarly making feverish merry to the results.
Sittin’ Heavy is out now via Mascot Records, available digitally as well as on CD and Vinyl (which includes bonus track Midnight) across most online stores.
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Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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