Release Date: 19 February 2016
Dine Alone Records / Cooking Vinyl
Review by Will Oakeshott
Remember in 2006 when Wolfmother were riding an enormous international wave of success for basically just re-releasing fantastic rock music from the 1960-70s era? They then more or less disappeared and have been living a post-releases slump since their breakthrough. For Ontario’s brilliantly named Monster Truck, the origin of their story is rather similar except for one vital aspect, there is no sophomore plunge for their debut follow-up Sittin’ Heavy, quite the opposite in fact. Rather astoundingly the quartet has outdone themselves without changing a thing from their first album Furiosity.
Appropriately opening with Why Are You Not Rocking, the scene is set and the two following tracks; Don’t Tell Me How To Live and Skeleton Witch pursue a parallel formula, with a driving southern drone metal feel for their verses, counteracted by a Grand Funk Railroad inspired chorus (the former having too many [excellent] animal references). It’s here the party really begins with For the People, a Creedence Clearwater Revival encouraged celebration song plus a hint of country and western. It simply demands whiskey, boots, BBQ, denim and cheap beer. It’s so repetitive it becomes dangerously infectious to the point of exasperation, but this scribe dares the listener to try and fail at not singing along.
A mellowed out Led Zeppelin motivated tune Black Forest allows the listener to recover the hangover of the previous party song, but don’t get too comfortable, the Creedence Clearwater Revival guidance comes straight back for It Gets Better demanding the same recipe of festivity essentials but with an insinuation of Gospel chant to reduce any guilt.
To The Flame hits hard with a dreary near Torche feel, but cries for the darker Black Sabbath moments. New Soul, brings back that powerful head thrashing rock of earlier songs. As is in fashion, the closing song Enjoy The Time is the slow ballad and a goodbye of sorts, but not to the world from Monster Truck, it’s to the listener for taking part in the journey that is Sittin’ Heavy.
Album number two from the Canadian “hard rock of yesteryear” worshippers is a complete victory. It’s contagious, free-flowing and familiar, while transcending generations. Sure, it’s a throwback record and slightly unconvincing to the point of cheesy. But a cheeseburger is obligated to have cheese, and in a way hard rock of 2016 needs Monster Truck.