Have you ever heard a new band for the first time and automatically became obsessed with finding every album they’ve ever made? That’s exactly how I felt upon taking one listen to “Universe”, the newest album by Truckfighters, an underground Swedish rock icon. They are one of those bands that don’t necessarily have a huge fan base in the US yet, but the people that have heard them are completely obsessed with them and now I know why.
Due to the recent success of bands like Graveyard, Ghost B.C., In Solitude and most recently Noctum, it seems like over the last few years, rock bands from Sweden have been on an incredible winning streak and Truckfighters do nothing on Universe to ruin that streak either. Though they are by nature a stoner rock band, there is nothing slow or sluggish or stoner about Universe. It’s an album full of incredibly catchy riffs, memorable vocal melodies and most importantly a MONSTER guitar tone. The interesting thing though, is that not all of their riffs are huge and bruising, in fact sometimes they are even a bit poppy and reminiscent of QOTSA at times, but not to a fault. When that tone that sounds like it’s being played through 300 Orange Amps comes in though, it makes it count and also adds to the catchiness even instead of detracting from it.
For a good sample of how the album sounds, check out the track “The Chairman”, it does an awesome job of alternating from bouncy, bluesy groovy riffs to lugging around that huge monster riff. There’s not much really to be said about this album if you’ve heard of Truckfighters, but if you haven’t and you like bands that alternate between stoner rock heaviness and rock that’s less heavy and much easier to dance to, this album may not ever leave your turntable. (Brandon Ringo)