Review Summary: Unfortunately not as furious as its predecessor.Furiosity
from the Canadian Monster Truck, released in 2013, fully conformed with its name – their brand of hard rock was fast, loud and boisterous, leaving the most positive impression. The reception of the album was favorable, only increasing the number of fans that can be identified by their periodically voiced motto “Don’t f**k with the Truck”. Naturally, given all this it was curious to see what the next album would sound like. And finally we got this opportunity as Sittin’ Heavy
was released in February 2016.
One of the undisputed advantages of Furiosity
was a great combination of the form and content. Since Monster Truck clearly aimed for pure rock ‘n’ roll based on simple but pumping riffs, most of the songs were short and concise, bursting with energy. They didn’t have time to bore, as they didn’t overstay their welcome. Certainly the absence of excess “fat” in this particular case had a positive impact, creating a sense of focus.
When you put Sittin’ Heavy
on, from the very first notes of the opening track Why Are You Not Rocking"
you gladly recognize the sound of the previous recording: fast and furious riff, and commanding vocals urge the audience to stand up and start rocking. And there is no desire whatsoever to resist this urge. With the next track, Don’t Tell Me How to Live
, the tempo slows down a bit (on the last album this happens only around the 4th song), but in no way this disturbs the propitious mood. Moreover, the overall message and strong chorus do their part. But when we get to the third song She’s a Witch
, we encounter something that was completely absent on Furiosity
– filler. It has no outstanding qualities and goes by practically unnoticed. From this moment on you start to gradually realize that Sittin’ Heavy
is an uneven album: it includes both solid tracks (For the People
, Black Forest
, To the Flame
) and filler (Another Man’s Shoes
, The Enforcer
, Enjoy the Time
It is difficult to comprehend what exactly is wrong this time and why the album gives off this uneven vibe. Let’s assume that the main issue has to do with the longer track length compared to Furiosity
. In itself it is not a problem point if this is accompanied with an extended songwriting approach. However, for some reason the approach remained the same. Jeremy Widerman’s riffs are still simple, only played at a lower speed. Coupled with longer length this creates a feeling of insufficient diversity and unnecessary overextension, since there is nothing particularly interesting added to the melodies. As one of the options, they may have followed the path taken by Deep Purple and introduced a kind of competitive element between the guitar and synthesizer, the duel that made many DP songs fascinating.
Jon Harvey also contributes to the overall picture. The lyrics continue the themes outlined on Furiosity
, which is not the issue. Rather the choruses are weaker in this effort, as in many songs they consist of just one line, repeated multiple times. If you combine it together with the unpolished melodies and longer tracks, you might get a better understanding of why the songs eventually begin to wear you down and do not keep you engaged as the record plays on.
In the end, the result is ambiguous. On the one hand, Sittin’ Heavy
is clearly inferior to its predecessor, but it cannot be called an outright failure. It feels more like a transition album, as if Monster Truck tries to find new means of expression – something that can only be encouraged, – however they are not yet ready to leave behind the methods that produced great results on Furiosity
(say, not to push away the fans). So let’s keep listening to the first album, with an occasional break for the second one, and wait for the next LP, which should provide a better understanding whether the Canadians end up being a band of one hit album.