Truckfighters
Universe


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
January 27th, 2014 | 44 replies


Release Date: 01/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "When I was a young boy, in primary school, my dad used to talk to me about a band called Truckfighters. My first reaction was: trucks shouldn't fight, because they both drive together and get along."

In the past decade, Truckfighters have become one of the most instantly recognizable stoner bands in the world. Ever since Josh Homme admitted these guys are undoubtedly 'the best band that ever existed' on their 2011 documentary, Fuzzomentary, their popularity doubled (at the very least). Still, giving credit where is due, the group's catchy as hell and flawless sound contributed equally. Both powerful and melodic, their fuzz-drenched tunes are accessible for the entire stoner fans spectrum. Moreover, their wild live shows have caught the attention of those who didn't initially bother listening to the records. Now, after exhaustively touring the world multiple times since Mania hit the streets back in 2009, the Swedish heroes return with Universe, their most complex effort yet.

In order to make sure they keep everyone interested until the last second, they have brought every trick up their sleeves and laid it to tape, thus creating a shorter, more concise album. Nevertheless, the groovy riffing and the melodic vocals that define their work is present as always. Shorter tracks like 'Mind Control', 'Dream Sale' or 'Prophet' will surely win those listeners who don't have the patience to dig the more expansive numbers. Each of these brings a slightly different side of the band, whether the straightforward rocking of the former, 'Prophet''s subdued grooves or the latter's gentle swaying, that rapidly shifts into ramming riff attacks. It's hard not to immerse yourself into the Truckfighters universe when they effortlessly churn such infectious music.

Since 'Chameleon' saw the light of day on the second release, Phi, the Swedish trio have made a conscious decision to expand their songs, in order to avoid redundancy. Universe features a string of mammoths ready to crush your PA, the most notable being 'The Chairman' and 'Mastodont'. Both feature staccato guitar leads intertwined with some cool bass/drum rhythms, while the vocals beautifully accompany them. They leave a lot of room for interplay, however, they don't jump into true progressive territory, only making a few steps in before returning to the murky, bonecrushing jamming. 'Mastodont' grows a bit too close to the aforementioned 'Chameleon', but distances itself with multiple segments that show how much can these guys play within their comfort zone. Also, at some point, the nice horn section present past the 9-minute mark suddenly gives way to a lovely, gentle, album closing acoustic guitar picking.

Even so, there's a slight issue that does not affect Universe in particular, but the band as a whole. Their sound is so recognizable, it became both a blessing and a curse. It made them one of the coolest stoner bands on Earth, yet once you're past the initial awe-inducing impact (if interested in their music of course), you can't help but think they are simply recycling the same chords and patterns. After you've heard one or two of their records, the others will feel more or less the same. Yes, there are highlights on each of them, still Truckfighters are one of those bands that will keep the same direction for most of their career. Strangely, I wouldn't want them to change their sound much, the same way I wouldn't really want them to stay out of their comfort zone too long. They know what sticks best to their audience and do it damn well. It's a weird, bipolar feeling, however, at the end of the day, Universe is another solid addition to their increasing discography. Who knows, maybe listened to in smaller doses with longer breaks in between keeps these guys as essential as they were a decade ago when 'Desert Cruiser' became a stoner staple. Either way, everyone is entitled to have their own opinion, so the best way is to check this out and see for yourselves.



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user ratings (37)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

The summary is an excerpt of Homme's part in the Fuzzomentary. When asked about his words he said he was high and hadn't actually heard about them. However, he checked them out and said they were good.

Great record, but more of the same of that Truckfighting sound.
Stream it here as a whole:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3tbrhz2f98

Digging: Motorpsycho - The Motorpnakotic Fragments

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 26th 2014


4458 Comments


Great review, Raul. I might check these guys out. I remember his interview with Nardwuar, where he asked him about his Truckfighters statement and I was laughing when he said that Truckfighters had been using his comment to promote their stuff and Homme hadn't even heard their songs.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2014


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah. They apparently got him drunk and then made him say that. Good move, Truckfighters.

I really dig Gravity X and Phi. This was a tad disappointing, just like their previous album. Swell review, Raul.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks guys. From what I read he listened to their stuff after and liked it lol. They are cool guys and have worked real hard to get where they are now.

scissorlocked
January 27th 2014


3511 Comments


awesome band, great review

had the opportunity to see them live, unfortunately, I missed it

Digging: Low Roar - Low Roar

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks. That sucks, from what I saw their live performances are really fun. They're all around the stage and sound awesome. They have just started touring behind Universe, so maybe they'll come somewhere near.

songsforthedeaf
January 27th 2014


4 Comments


Holy sheeeeeaaaat new Truckfighters.

"Their sound is so recognizable, it became both a blessing and a curse...once you're past the initial awe-inducing impact, you can't help but think they are simply recycling the same chords and patterns."

Yeah I was worried this might happen. They really nailed that sound on Mania...where do they go from there? But no doubt I will listen and enjoy

Check out Fuzzomentary - the Truckfighters documentary. Its brilliant! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZyvY-ithBc

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Yep, Mania was really a high point in their career as they mixed the heavy fuzz sounds with more gentle tunes. This is mostly the same only a bit more rehearsed (or at least it feels like it's a bit tighter), but still, there's a lot of fun tracks here too.

Saw the documentary, it's really cool.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
January 27th 2014


13453 Comments


why was reverend horton heat not featured

Tyrael
January 27th 2014


20971 Comments


worst summary aus

Azn.
January 27th 2014


5618 Comments


this review makes me want to check hard

mental pos

Sniff
January 27th 2014


1429 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

phat rev

zakalwe
January 27th 2014


9098 Comments


When I was a young boy I played the silver ball.

Digging: The dB's - Stands For Decibels

SharkTooth
January 27th 2014


6469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Invisible pos

Digging: Gnidrolog - Lady Lake

Mad.
January 27th 2014


4197 Comments


Beautiful review, clearly from a man who knows his stuff about the band and stoner rock in general!

I will definitely be checking this, I loved Phi and Gravity X was almost as good. I have a feeling I'll dig this, just from the artwork

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
January 27th 2014


3502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Thanks man. You'll dig this, is as good as those records.

Pho3nix
January 27th 2014


56 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It's on Spotify guys!

Mad.
January 27th 2014


4197 Comments


It's on YouTube guys!

Corrected

SharkTooth
January 27th 2014


6469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Double post

SharkTooth
January 27th 2014


6469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm going to check out this album




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