|Monster Truck - ‘Sittin' Heavy’ (Mascot Records)|
|Written by Andrew Williams|
|Friday, 19 February 2016 04:00|
I must confess I was a latecomer to Monster Truck, it was only relatively recently that I became acquainted with their debut ‘Furiosity’ which I must admit very much enjoyed. So I was more than pleased to get the opportunity to review their sophomore release ‘Sittin' Heavy’. The band hail from Hamilton in the deep south, of Canada, and have a sound which has a lot in common with bands many miles further south in the bible belt of the good ol’ US of A. Their sound will appeal to fans of Black Stone Cherry, Clutch and The Black Crowes, they also bring a touch of Soundgarden to proceedings, especially in Jon Harvey’s vocals.
First up we’re asked ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?’ a very fair question albeit one we’ve all been asked many time before. It kicks off with filthy fuzzed up riff which leads into fine up-tempo rocker, which weighing in at only 2:23, is a short sharp shock which gets the album off and running in fine style.
‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’ has a Zeppelin-esque riff, again delivering a message we’ve heard before but with 100% authenticity. ‘She’s A Witch’ also follows a similar classic rock path albeit with a slightly darker tone. Having a line up with a keyboard player rather than a second guitarist sets the band slightly apart from some of their contemporaries, they balance the sound out and allow the busy but never overpowering guitar of Jeremy Widerman to breathe. His playing on this album suits the songs and never detracts, and is actually reminiscent of Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt
‘For The People’ is an altogether more uplifting affair, the chorus echoing the southern stylings of Delany & Bonnie and Little Feat. ‘Black Forest’ slows things down nicely, featuring the electric piano of Brandon Bliss and soulful vocals of Jon Harvey.
‘Another Man’s Shoes’ returns to classic rock territory and has the feel of currently popular two piece combos like The Graveltones and Henry’s Funeral Shoe about it. I have to admit the album does get slightly weaker in the second half, and whilst the likes of ‘Things Get Better’ and ‘New Soul’ have a nice soulful bluesy groove they do not stand out as much as other material on offer.
‘The Enforcer’ is an up tempo tune with a pop punk feel especially the “all in” gang vocals on the intro and chorus, whilst ‘To The Flame’ returns to classic mid paced Sabbath style riffery, the song delivers a very fine slab of stoner rock.
The album concludes with ‘Enjoy The Time’ a soulful slow burner which builds from a tasteful keyboard intro to a lighters (and now cell phone) aloft number that could grace any arena sized venue. Guitarist Jeremy Widerman even gets the chance to spread his wings and have his Slash on top of a cliff next to a church moment on the solo.
All in all this is a very fine album from an excellent band who have a straightforward no nonsense writing style which covers many of the classic & southern rock bases extremely well. ‘Sittin' Heavy’ builds well on the band’s first release and should set Monster Truck up for some good things to come.