Monster Truck’s freshman full-length album Furiosity, begins with the noise of an approaching train, bearing down on the listener, ready to crush them with opening lick on “Old Train”. From there, the album only picks up steam as it continues to roll down the Canadian riff-rock railway.
With that opening train horn blast (perhaps also an homage to the opening of Tricky Woo’s seminal 2005 hard rock masterpiece First Blush?), Monster Truck signal that they are here to stay. The group just picked up the JUNO Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year and has come off a few years of heavy touring in support of big names in Canadian rock. It should be only a matter of months before they’ve eclipsed the bands they were once opening for.
The gruff voice of bassist Jon Harvey propels the songs along, carrying the weight of the band on his thick glissando vocals lines, used to great effect on “Power of the People” and throughout the rest of the album. After the grinding guitar/organ riffage of “Sweet Mountain River” (which could use more of Brandon Bliss’ organ in the mix, along with the rest of the album), they smash forth into “Psychics”, which winds into a mellow bridge before Jeremy Wilderman’s guitar solo explodes from the speakers.
One of the band’s best features (and a testament to what has taken them this far as a live act without releasing a proper full-length until now) is the rawness of Wilderman’s extended guitar solos, something difficult to capture on record. With the slow burn of “For The Sun” he is allowed more space stretch out during the final minute of the song, but could really be given more real estate to light it up.
Monster Truck know how to rock – see the “The Giant” for 2:04 of prog mastery – but they also appreciate the importance of toning things down every so often to provide contrast. Closing out the album with “My Love is True” evokes all their southern rock influences and would make Government Mule or the Allman Brothers blush with admiration. Big thick tone, big vocal harmonies, big success.
Yes, you should really go see them live for the real Monster Truck experience, but this album stands up on its own two dirty, stinky, size 15 feet without any regard for the toes it’s stepping on.
– Tyler Stewart