This album is the one I could not wait to get. I had to make sure I got it the day it came out. I ordered the coloured version, and was not disappointed. With 2 big, heavy slabs of green and white marbled vinyl, even if they did not sound awesome(not likely), at least they would look awesome.
So let us, as Haywire once said “Drop the needle”.
Why Are You Not Rocking? – I always ask myself this question. Mere seconds into the song, I realize I am rocking, and so is Monster Truck. The song starts off with the spoken words” All right. Good to go.” Then pounding drums and some amazing fuzzy guitar. The chords here are enough to make any sludge metal shredder jealous. “Rock and Roll might save your life. It might save your life tonight.” No truer words have ever been spoken.
Don’t Tell Me How To Live – The album single has been heard here in Canada on the radio for a while now. Even though I have heard it many times, I still love it every time. This to me is the sign of a great song. It never gets old.
She’s A Witch – More fuzzy guitar to begin this song. This seems like a bit of a new direction for Jeremy Widerman. His guitar work has always been top notch, but adding that fuzz that I love has put him over the top. As I said in a previous album review, I have a thing for witches. Just making a song about a witch has me hooked, but the vocals and the instrumentation keep me on the line.
For The People – Ian Thornley has a guest spot on this song. Most Canadians will know him, but for the uninformed he is the lead singer of the bands Big Wreck and Thornley. He has a ton of cred in our music industry, and it says something for a band to be able to lure him in. His slide guitar lends well to the theme of this song, which has a bit of Southern Rock and maybe even a tiny shred of Country mixed with Classic Rock. If Steve Earle, Ry Cooder and the Doobie Brothers had done a song together, this is how it may have sounded.
Black Forest – Side B of the first platter starts off with thunder rolls. Sorry Garth Brooks fans, I mean actual thunder sounds. Then Brandon Bliss shows us how an organ can be an integral part of a hard rock song. Not in an annoying, Ray Manzarek kind of way, either. Light tapping of the cymbals chime in for a neat mix, then the guitar starts to wail. Jon Harveys` vocals here have a bit of a Chris Cornell sound to them, and just enough of a change to make the listeners ears perk just a bit. The vocals aside, the song has a later Soundgarden feel to it.
Another Man`s Shoes – I am not sure if it was intentional or not but the song has a little of Sweet Mountain River to it. Either way, it is a good thing because that was a great song. This song doesn`t have the instant charm of the aforementioned song, however, it does have something. As in great guitar, pounding drums, and powerful vocals.
Things Get Better – Wait a minute. I know that piano intro. Guest pianist Anthony Carone must be a big Dolly Parton fan as he seems to have found a way to mix 9 to 5 into a rock song. Well played fine sir. A few seconds in when the guitar and drums sound off you know this is no country music/soundtrack song though. This is a rocker through and through. The repeating chorus is a highlight of this song.
The Enforcer – Starts off with hockey goal horn. The title referring to the players on the ice whose job it is to protect the smaller players. “Before you drop the gloves, say bye to those you love, and those teeth you remember.“ The background chants in this song actually give the impression of hearing a cheering crowd at a sporting event. I guarantee this song will be soon heard in hockey arenas worldwide. It really is a good romp.
To The Flame – Steve Kiely begins the second disc by pounding the drums into submission while the guitar wails. The slower vocal delivery emphasize the fear and desperation of the person being hunted down in the song.
Midnight (Bonus) – As if the coloured splatter deliciousness that is the vinyl lp isn`t enough to shell out the extra money, then the fact that this song is only available in this format should help make your decision for you. It is a true rocker, and the guitar work here does seem to be just a little different than others on the album.
New Soul – Rhythmic drumming help the listener know exactly how and when to bang your head along. Make sure you are in welcome company when listening, because not everyone will welcome your air guitar hero impersonation.
Enjoy The Time – This song features a who`s who of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Terra Lightfoot and Brad Germain (formerly of Marble Index) team up for the background vocals here. Since Hamilton is the home of Monster Truck it is nice to see they chose to include fellow Hamiltonians. The keyboard work in this song is supreme. It is a throwback to the heydays of the 1970`s. It`s an amazing album closer, with all parts blending into a really, really great song. I am kind of sad to get to the end. I guess all I can do is play it again. The album closes and it started with spoken word, basically saying “It`s Over. That`s It”
I am so glad to finally see a complete Monster Truck album. The previous EP`s and album were great, but had just a tiny bit of good songs mixed with mostly great. This album is awesome from start to finish. I am happy to see them moving upward to eventually being a worldwide phenomenon, even if the days of me seeing them in a sweaty bar with 100 or so people are long gone. Welcome to the big leagues Monster Truck.