Truckfighters are one of the more immediate desert/stoner rock bands in a genre very well known for forgetting to get to the point (maybe lay off the weed a little, guys?). The Swedish band has a sound propelled equally from the desert and 70s smoke-filled arenas, but there’s a decided Soundgarden and Tool influence that makes Truckfighters’ music (even the more sparse and barren soundscapes) feel more propulsive than their peers. It helps that their music is certainly at the more melodic and accessible end of the stoner spectrum. These guys are much more focused than many of their peers, and the songs have reflected that over the years. Truckfighters have been known for a riff-fueled good time.
Interestingly, the group’s fifth album, V, finds the band inching a bit away from their fuzz rock past. The album is much less riff-driven; instead, much of it feels like a series of extended jam sessions. The idea of a stoner band going all jam band is rather scary, but Truckfighters are such good musicians and songwriters that V feels more like an expansion of their wild live show than an impromptu jam. It’s all clearly planned out, but the vibe of the album is easy-going and fun. There are certainly fuzz-ified moments, like the latter half of “The Construct” and “Fiend”, but Truckfighters are clearly expanding their reach and trying new things, and that spirit has resulted in a series of real winner. V is their best collection of songs to date: melodic, hooky heavy rock that’s so much more than riffs. It’s a consistently engaging, entertaining ride through the Swedish desert.