By Bill Adams
In the decades since rock n’ roll established itself as an enduring musical form, a few bands have come along and really marked time by serving up bombastic guitar licks, swaggering and soaring vocals and the personalities (as well as the performances) of players which are so big that they’re impossible to forget. The names of some of those artists (like Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, and Soundgarden) have left an indelible mark on music and, in listening to Furiosity, there is no doubt that another name which will be added to that venerable list of artists will be Monster Truck. The band’s debut full-length has all the crunch, punch and swagger to single-handedly snap rock out of the neutered circles it has been running in for the last few years and show a generation raised on music made on a computer with a host of expensive production programs that, really, all you need is a guitar, a good voice and the will to melt some faces to be a rock star.
Even with the advance warning above, listeners will still be laid flat from the moment “Old Train” rolls in to open Furiosity. There, the train is already rolling like an irresistable force as Steve Kiely‘s drums and Jeremy Widerman‘s guitars hit listeners and Jon Harvey‘s voice howls out to let them know that they weren’t just hit by a force of nature, they were broadsided by a BAND. It’s a perfectly dense and solid beginning and, even the first time they hear it, listeners will be hooked. Right off, Monster Truck has tapped into the swing that all great rock bands radiate through their music, and shone it out so brightly that listeners will be able to swear truly that they haven’t felt such a rush in years; if they’ve ever felt it before at all.
The irresistable force of Monster Truck just keeps chugging indefatigably along, after inertia is overcome by “Old Train,” and the results are incredible. Furiosity seems to ride steel rails for the duration of its run-time, but no track fades into the background or feels forgettable. Particular standouts like “Power Of The People,” “Sweet Mountain River,” “Boogie” and “Call It A Spade” all dust off some of the most well-worn gimmicks in the rock canon – that coy, shakin’ rhythm of ZZ Top’s “La Grange” (hear it reborn in “Call It A Spade”), the big, bad stomp which powered Badmotorfinger (see “Power Of The People”) or the give-and-take between vintage keyboards and guitars which was Steppenwolf’s stock in trade (check out “Oh Lord”) – shine them up and ride them hard here. It’s awesome to hear, truly, but the remarkable thing which becomes apparent here is that Monster Truck REALLY MAKES IT WORK.
The brash styling of the performances here combined with a cocksure, damn-the-torpedos attitude mixes perfectly, and the result is a work of rock art of a sort which hasn’t been heard in a long time. Detractors who complain that Furiosity only has one gear (there are no ballads or any other deviations here – it’s all balls-out, lead-footed hard rock here) are indie rock super-saturated fuddy-duddies; Furiosity represents a necessary change in mainstream rock in that it is loud, horny and has a few sparks of chaos about it. There is nothing contrived about Furiosity, it is a genuine, pigheaded stab against mediocrity that is just screaming to be heard. Go buy it now and play it loud – it deserves to be.
Bill Adams is also editor-in-chief of groundcontrolmag.com