Truckfighters: Universe

[5 May 2014]

By Chris Conaton

The latest album from Sweden’s Truckfighters is full of crunchy stoner metal riffs. This should come as no surprise to those in the know; the band has been around for a decade and counts sun-soaked desert rock king (queen?) Josh Homme as an ardent fan. The trio plows through a septet of tracks here, and each one comes with a satisfyingly fuzzy guitar/bass hook. Everything on Universe is solid, but after a while, the unrelenting distorted assault gets a bit old. Counter-intuitively, the record’s two longest songs, “The Chairman” and “Mastodont”, manage to stand a bit above the rest. The former has a nice clean guitar groove in sections that set off the crunchier bits. The latter is a titanic 14-minute track that is somehow perfectly calibrated to stick mostly to a central pair of riffs without feeling repetitive. Truckfighters don’t seem interested in making a long, complicated piece of music. Instead, “Mastodont” sounds like the band found a couple of riffs that they loved and figured out how to jam around surprisingly effectively by placing clean guitar variations and guitar and bass solos in just the right places.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/180945-truckfighters-universe/