Old school rock and roll is hard to come by. After you filter it through the great siphon of contemporary music, you have a little of grunge throwback, a little doom metal, maybe some corporate pop/rock, and you are left with a big steaming pile of mediocrity. It is a sour world, and when Foo Fighters is the best thing out there, you know you are in trouble.
This makes Monster Truck’s sincere, bombast, ruthlessly forward riff-rock sound a tad refreshing. Big guitar licks float above rudimentary drumming to make for a sound that is simple, straight-shooting, and just plain fun.
And with an album title such as ‘Don’t Fuck With the Truck,’ you have a group of guys that just really love rocking out and having a good time. There is little seriousness in the formula. It’s a big guitar lick, some Joe Perry inspired shredding, and some post-grunge sound infused into the whole big thrilling blender.
The group is currently penned in for a double duty tour, opening for corporate rock leaders Alter Bridge, and the grunge masterminds Alice in Chains. Alice is rather far removed from their earlier sound; especially considering their last record which is almost solely doom metal. But Monster Truck fits right in like a velvet glove. Part of the reason is that they are universally approachable. Their sound in tracks such as ‘Old Train’ and ‘For the Sun’ are big arena rock headbangers without that abrasive energy that, say, Black Sabbath and Dio perfected so well.
Monster Truck is not trying to be anything but good old boys that enjoy mudding, trucking, music, and banging their heads to loud sounds. There are a lot of straightforward songs that push a single big sound as opposed to a deeply enriched barrage of technical showmanship. The band follows groups such as Torche, the White Stripes, and Kings of Leon. They write a song around a big lick, and make sure the big lick stays right up there in front of the aural assault.
When looking at the track lists of the band’s material, you see George Pettit of Alexisonfire pop up. Alexisonfire was a very technical post-hardcore band known for their highly specific and detailed progressive style. The inclusion of Pettit means Monster Truck is embracing this new direction.
It is interesting to sort of see Monster Truck remain so centered on their aesthetic of big licks and big sounds. It’s actually quite admirable, because they rarely try to be anything but themselves (have you read the band name? It is about as honest and ‘who gives a crap’ as you can get).
Monster Truck rocks the fuck out of the house, quite frankly. They fit into a modern hardcore sound. They fit into a classic rock sound. They fit into a big arena rock sound. Those are all great place to be.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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