Album Review: Monster Truck - 'Sittin' Heavy'

17 February 2016 | 10:59 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

11 consistent tracks that will please the avid blues rock fan but not the average listener.

Canadian blues rock revivalists Monster Truck made one hell of a statement with their 2013 debut 'Furiosity'. A murky, dark exploration into territory long abandoned by the godfathers of rock & roll, the band reignited a once lost passion for the riff in the hearts (and ears) of listeners worldwide. Thankfully, their second offering, 'Sittin’ Heavy', has picked things up exactly where the lads left off, providing even more punch and power for fans of the blues to gorge themselves on. However, for those seeking more than a 45-minute riff fest, this may not be the place for you.

'Why Are You Not Rocking?' opens proceedings with a furious drum beat setting the tempo for a two-minute trailblazer. The song is characterised by the cheesy hook of “Rock and Roll might save your life tonight”, but contains enough grit to awaken one's curiosity for the road ahead. Instantly, listeners are rewarded with the anthemic 'Don’t Tell Me How To Live'. The songs muddy, Zeppelin inspired riff breaks into one of the more glorious choruses within the current genre, with vocalist Jon Harvey soaring above the grimy undercurrent of blues.

Blues rock runs the common risk of descending into a state of ‘sameness’ throughout its collection of sounds and melodies. While Monster Truck pull out all the old tricks ('She’s A Witch' is the funkiest 12 bar you will hear all year) they also offer some alternative avenues to enhance their sound. While initially surprising listeners, the country rock hooks of 'For the People' are catchy as hell, with the band's pitch perfect harmonies combining over the disco drum groove. It’s an unexpected addition that breaks up the otherwise predictable nature of such a musical style. Equally, 'Black Forest' also offers an alternative style, with its moody, lounge-jazz introduction kicking into a folky ballad that further showcases the vocal chops of Harvey.

Monster Truck are good at what they do. However, as the record progresses, excitable energy begins to slowly give way to complacency. 'Things Get Better' begins promisingly however, it all quickly descends into another half-time rocker, with the chorus hook of, “I’ve got a feeling things are gonna get worse before they get better” making the transition from groovy to downright annoying. 'The Enforcer' offers some hope with its shuffle and stadium rock chorus before 'To The Flame' descends back into the slow, stoner blues rock territory occupied by a majority of the record. As stated, Monster Truck are not bad at their craft. Each song is meticulously composed with the perfect characteristics of good blues rock. However, given the style and the nature of the music they are playing, 'Sittin’ Heavy' becomes hard to digest throughout its entire course.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Monster Truck will definitely please their fans with 'Sittin’ Heavy'. The cauldron of sludge, rock and blues is a natural expansion from their predecessor. However, for listeners less inclined to hear the same style performed over 11 tracks, this record will present itself as a wearisome, driving home the same musical element over and over again.        

Monster Truck have created an album of solid, inoffensive blues rock songs. And that is also the problem. The music is decent, but nothing new presents itself over the course of the record.

1. Why Are You Not Rocking?

2. Don’t Tell Me How to Live

3. She’s A Witch

4. For The People

5. Black Forest

6. Another Man’s Shoes

7. Things Get Better

8. The Enforcer

9. To The Flame

10. New Soul

11. Enjoy The Time