I recently introduced you to my new favorite band, Monster Truck. You can check out the interview I did with guitarist Jeremy Widerman here if you like. Now it’s time to recap their debut album Furiosity which releases tomorrow. I’m here to share my thoughts on the album and hopefullly help this band and their music, become favorites of yours as well. Let’s do this!
Canadian based rockers Monster Truck open the album with Old Train. Complete with a train rumbling along the tracks, this tune brings gang vocals, furious riffs and an absolutely infectious chorus. Try not to sing-a-long with the wooooo ooohhhhhh’s. I bet you can’t resist. A great album opener.
Next up is The Lion. Just like the predator it’s named for, The Lion sneaks up on you before jumping from the brush to rip your face off. The intensity picks up on this track and will be one that has many heads banging in unison on tour. I love this track and all it’s machoism. This track showcases each individual band member and what they bring to the table. For me though, the star of this song is drummer Steve Kiely. He is all over the place at a frenetic pace, never veering off course, but still driving the song like he stole it.
Check out Monster Truck performing The Lion below:
Power of the People is the next ass-kicking handed out by the band. This is my favorite track on the album. It’s short, it’s to the point, it’s badass. Starting off with the chorus, the huge hook is immediate. That’s followed up with one of the best grooves on the record. Add in the fantastic organ on this track and you have something amazing. Totally badass.
The single Sweet Mountain River is the next track on the album. Hopefully you’ve heard it, if not, I’ll include a performance of the song below. This version is the extended album version, so there is a bit of a longer intro and buildup than the condensed “radio” version. The extended version is a good thing in my opinion. Momentum and emotion are what gives music the ability to move people, and this track has it all. This song is all about the riffs and melodies. The guitarwork laid down by Jeremy Widerman is fantastic and the chorus is huge with it’s well blended backing vocals. This is a great example of what the band offers. So, if you like what you hear from Sweet Mountain River, this band is definitely a band for you.
Check out Monster Truck performing Sweet Mountain River and Old Train below:
Psychics showcases the intensity of the band and really puts the organ and bass at the forefront for the listener. The guitarwork is stellar, but the pit will be moving around because of the rhythm section. I mentioned a pit right, this track has the potential to be the one that causes the crowd to completely lose it’s mind. I for one, can’t wait to see it happen.
Continuing the musical escapade is Oh Lord. This track is really your first break from the assault that Monster Truck has mounted on your hearing. It’s not a ballad by any means, but it’s more of subdued groove and really only blasts away in the choruses. Bassist/vocalist Jon Harvey shows you that he can hold his own vocally with anyone out there on this one. Great to see that the band is no one-trick pony.
For the Sun is a blues-infused track that shows you yet another completely different side of Monster Truck. Sounding as if Jimmy Page and the mighty Led Zeppelin wrote this one, the band takes you on a journey to their roots. The classic rock sounds that we all know and love. With it’s beautiful organ ambience and slow step blues structure, the song is what I like to call slow heavy. While it never really kicks you in the teeth like some of the other tracks, it’s ambience and vocal delivery give it a soulful, heavy sound. The guitars are really the only heavy thing about the song, but the momentum going into the chorus just feels so powerful and emotional. Fantastic song and one of my top 5 on the album.
Boogie. What would you expect from a song called Boogie? If you said a song that will put the boogie in your bones, you’d be as weird as I am. No seriously, the band has a knack for being simplistic in their approach and their descriptions. You get exactly what you expect from a track called Boogie. A reckless, hard hitting, quick barnburner of a tune written with the sole intent of moving you. Job well done.
Undercover Love picks up where Boogie left off. The tracks are fairly similar in approach, but this song is a little more polished. The groove is great and the song continues the high energy on the album. Monster Truck seemingly never lets off the gas. It’s balls out rock and I couldn’t be happier about that.
The Giant is a song that lyrically, doesn’t really fit the overall theme of the album. I use the term theme very loosely here, but for the most part, the album is about life and “real” scenarios. The Giant is a tall tale that would fit well on an album by say Mastodon or even The Sword. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s a great intense song and one that will be awesome in the set. It’s just the lyrical content seems a bit misplaced. If this is my only complaint on an entire album, then you have to know the band has done something right!
Call it a Spade is up next. It’s back to a more groove oriented tune, pulling back the intensity that was prevalent in The Giant. I’m not quite sure why, but my mind keeps going back to one of the most underrated guitarists to ever play when I hear this song. I continually think about the late, great Rory Gallagher. It’s a dirty, boogie, groovy blues tune with by far the best breakdown on the album. The kick drum, tambourine and clapping are something I wait for every time I hear the song.
My Love is True closes out the album. This song is another bluesy tune in the vein of For the Sun. For me, this song is absolutely perfect. I can’t envision one thing I could or would even consider changing on it. Once the song hits the chorus wide open and the backing vocals begin, the song takes on a whole new dynamic. The girls in the choir bring a southern feel to the song, one that would make Lynyrd Skynyrd stand up and salute. The energy, the momentum, the emotions all continue to build until the last note of the song. Choosing to fade away, rather than stop the song, My Love is True leaves you saying, “Oh shit! This album can’t be over! I want more!”
For rock music junkies, this album is pure heroin. I know, because dammit, I’m addicted. Having spent about a month with this album, I can tell you that there is not one single song that I skip on this album. I put in the disc and let it ride. The way music should be. I say screw iTunes and buying single songs, give me an album that kicks my ass from start to finish and that’s exactly what Monster Truck has delivered with Furiosity.
I’ll leave you with a warning, these songs are so macho, you better not let your woman listen or she’ll wind up with hair on her chest. After all, the bands mantra is, “Don’t Fuck with the Truck.”
Unsung Melody Score: 10/10
Preview or purchase Furiostiy below: