It’s pretty safe to say that rock’n’roll is not dead but rather most excellently alive and kicking, with bands like Rival Sons, Scorpion Child, and yes, Canadian rockers Monster Truck tearing up stages and airwaves across the world. To prove my case, I offer “Furiosity” as evidence – Monster Truck’s first full-length release after two EPs. It’s quite simply a killer album – start to finish, back to front, inside and out, top to bottom, any way you’d like to slice it.
This is genuine muscle and sweat rock’n’roll, throbbing with enough power to light up the pleasure centre of your brain and then some. Fusing the bluesy, soulful sensibility of early rock with a hard rocking heart and soul, it’s the kind of music where you can still hear the grit in the vocals, and at least imagine yourself hearing the sound of calloused fingers moving across organ-keys and strings. The music is just that alive – bristling and beating with life and soul and satisfying sonic goodness.
The album starts out with an ass-kicking trio of tunes – “Old Train”, “The Lion”, and “Power of the People” – laying it down so heavy and hard and groovy that you immediately realize that resistance is futile. Jon Harvey’s husky, strong voice should be listed as an addictive substance, and the band is just so together, so powerfully, joyfully free in their playing – from Harvey’s bass rumble, to Jeremy Widerman’s hair- and bone-shaking guitar, to Steve Kiely’s rock-solid drums, and Brandon Bliss’ inspired organ playing (this is truly a band where the keyboards aren’t just a flashy show-piece, but are integrated fully into the band’s sound on every track).
After those three first tracks, already good enough that I have to pick my socks up off the floor, comes “Sweet Mountain River”, one of the best tracks I’ve heard this year – an irresistible, soulful shot of rock’n’roll that just makes you crank up the volume when you hear it. And if you’re not at least trying to sing along, you’re probably dead.
Every track here is good enough to eat and ask for seconds. Picking favorites seems pointless on an album this excellent, but my highlight reel definitely includes “Oh Lord”, not least for the , deep bass-lines running through it; and another standout is the stunningly beautiful “For The Sun” with an almost Hendrix-y feel to the guitar intro, Widerman making his instrument sing like another voice before Harvey’s vocals kick in. It just might be the best track on this album.
“Furiosity” closes with “My Love Is True”, a track so tasty that you just want to soak up every ounce of its bluesy, mellow sweetness. At this point, this album had me and I was gone, in the best way possible. Monster Truck has created a true rock’n’roll knockout. Don’t miss out – get some Furiosity in you today.
- Jon Harvey: bass, lead vocals
- Jeremy Widerman: guitar, vocals
- Brandon Bliss: organ, vocals
- Steve Kiely: drums, vocals
- Old Train
- The Lion
- Power of the People
- Sweet Mountain River
- Oh Lord
- For The Sun
- Undercover Love
- The Giant
- Call It A Spade
- My Love Is True
(This review was originally published at Hard Rock Nights.)