Truckfighters – V

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Swedish stoner rock trio Truckfighters were one of the best acts at this year’s Desertfest in London. Playing with an energy and verve you (probably) wouldn’t expect to see at a big stoner festival, they came across like AC/DC playing Queens Of The Stone Age covers. Their new album, however, sees them take a more laid back approach.

Their fifth album, cleverly titled V (Fuzzorama Records/Century Media) is perhaps more low-key than previous releases. Also taking a more melodious edge to their now well-established brand of desert rock, much of the dusty grime has been replaced with a bit too much polish.

Eight-minute opener ‘Calm Before the Storm’ quietly eases the album open, before occasional interjections of fuzzy greatness snap into focus. While probably the most extreme example, it perfectly encapsulates V’s combination of spaced out jams, dreamy melodies, and occasional riff sessions.

Like Clockwork-era Queens of the Stone Age feels like a strong point of reference here, and there’s often moments that have a steak of Kyuss about them such as the crunching ‘Geheena and Fiend’s’ groovy stomp. While the bass-heavy opening of ‘Hawkshaw’ is one of the most instantly gratifying slab of riffs on the album, the rest of the song is a more hypnotic mix of dreamy vocals and big choruses.

The melodic vocals and penchant for chilled out jams does get a bit samey after a while, and the likes of ‘The 1’ can easily pass the listener by. But overall there’s few tracks that stick out too far as being bad, or even seriously great. It’s just a solid and easy-going album.

45 minutes and seven songs of perfectly satisfying, enjoyable, but inessential songs. TF fans will be happy enough with V, as will anyone hankering after some decent stoner.

7.0/10

DAN SWINHOE