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Monster Truck - True Rockers (Album Review)

Friday, 12 October 2018 Written by Simon Ramsay

“Hey there, are we speaking with the big time?”

“Yes, you are. Who’s calling and how may I be of assistance?”

“We’re Canada’s Monster Truck, we’ve just made the best damn rock ‘n’ roll album of the year and thought it was only fair to warn you that…we’re coming for you.”

Combining the pulsating kineticism and unbridled spirit of ‘Furiosity’ with the superior craftsmanship and forward thinking textures of ‘Sittin’ Heavy’, Monster Truck have stormed back with a thoroughbred third album that’s accessible, unstoppably anthemic and informed by their time on the road.

Anyone who’s seen them live won’t be surprised to learn that songs like the supercharged title track, a flag waving mission statement featuring Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, and thrashy metal whirlwind Thundertruck were composed while opening for the likes of Deep Purple, Alter Bridge and Nickelback.  

Authentically recreating the urgency, excitement and adrenaline of performing in front of huge audiences, the whole record sounds like it’s powered by a nuclear power station in full-blown meltdown. Likewise, the group’s songwriting also possesses a new-found directness now they know how to slay such capacious venues. Boasting a streamlined structural focus, the old school battering-ram Denim Danger and Leave Me Alone’s crushing tornado of angst contain as much fat as a skeleton.  

Elsewhere, from the boogying, harmonica-drenched southern groove of Devil Don’t Care to lighter-waving blues scorcher Undone and stoner-punk bruiser Being Cool Is Over, there’s no messing about here as each song bulldozes its way towards crowd-pleasing killer hook after crowd-pleasing killer hook.

Several numbers, for that matter, feature unabashed mainstream choruses that, in what may be perceived as a contentious move, were co-penned with hit-making outside writers. Evolution is a mid-tempo, stadium-flattening wrecking ball that skilfully marries Monster Truck’s bullish character to a proudly commercial blushing bride. Hurricane, meanwhile, combines their signature blunt force attack with a piledriving refrain that screams crossover potential from the top of its mighty lungs.  

Young City Hearts, on the other hand, is easily the most radio-friendly cut of the lot, but also the least successful. Despite some sizeable instrumental welly, hearing Jon ‘Marv’ Harvey singing about restless hearts and being young, wild and free is a bridge too far and feels uncomfortably cheesy and ill-fitting.  

Could it actually happen? Could a stoner-based, bluesy hard rock band who started playing bars so they could get drunk for free really become one of the biggest names on the modern rock scene and a bona fide arena headliner? On the back of this fun-filled colossus, you bet your bloody life they could.





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