Review Summary: Subtle sightings of the beast.
Delivering a follow-up to a magnum opus must have put a lot of pressure on Sasquatch even before commencing the creation process. All the heavy riffs and dirty grooves were packed into the gritty epic, III
, turning it into a hidden gem and a landmark in the hard rock/stoner sphere. Luckily, the band were aware of the fact they couldn't simply create a clone and get away with it, so they crafted the shorter, more immediate, IV
While the record doesn't outrun the predecessor, it acts as an important step forward for Sasquatch, since it expands several of their musical facets. As a very equilibrated affair, IV
makes room for more intricate pieces that show signs of maturity and constant improvement. Instant cuts like 'The Message' or 'Corner' have that cool, straightforward rock 'n' roll vibe, yet they are merely the starting point of the whole journey, being used to lure the listener in. These pave the way for more consistent tracks such as the heavy and dynamic, 'Smoke Signals' with its prolonged scratchy, guitar wrecking solos, the scorching 'Eye Of The Storm' or the slow-burning finale, 'Drawing Flies'. It might take a few listens for them to sink in, but they show a band feeling comfortable in their own skin, not being afraid to let the riffs speak for themselves.
Whereas a couple of highlights would please an average stoner band nowadays, these guys trimmed IV
to keep it devoid of any potential filler. 'Money' brings some more of that fat groove Sasquatch have become notorious for, to accompany Keith Gibbs's powerful vocals. He always doses his delivery for the listener to constantly keep track of the music too and the solo provided towards the end of the track is pure rock fury. Also, the blues influenced, 'Sweet Lady', pays homage to the band's roots, but with their own imprint on it. Saturated with wah and fuzz, the song is a soaring, mid-tempo shuffle with some slick rhythms and smooth licks.
The only real downside here is the lack of acoustic numbers. Tracks like 'New Disguise' and 'Nikki' added a whole new dimension that caught a softer side and completed the overall experience on III
, respectively. Unfortunately, these have been left out in favor of the harder tunes this time around. Even if this decision doesn't actually affect the final product, it would've made for a more rounded affair, akin to the previous offerings. Regardless, at the end of the day, Sasquatch are still one of the world's premiere hard rock/stoner acts and IV
is yet another essential cut in their catalog, monitoring their constant progress.