Sasquatch - III
Small Stone Records
February 8, 2010
In the pantheon of rock lyrics, there are few lines as stump dumb yet undeniably iconic as "You want it, you got it, baby." Sure, a vintage David Lee Roth yowl ranks higher, but that not only goes without saying but it also isn't even English.
It's telling that the above factors in the chorus of "Get Out of Here," the lead track on Sasquatch's third full-length (named, appropriated enough, III). While usually pegged as stoner rock, the Los Angeles-based three-piece is really an amped up and fuzzed out classic rock outfit. Take away guitarist/vocalist Keith Gibbs' Big Muff and dial back the distortion and what you get with these guys isn't too far removed from what American forebearers the Nuge, Grand Funk Railroad, and Montrose (well, at least the first album) were serving up and dishing out in the '70s.
It's a simple recipe, one almost as simple as the chorus to “Get Out of Here” - focus on not only the riff itself but on how well it leads into the chorus, which itself has to have the type of hook that's big without being overwhelmingly so. Time has shown that's easier said than done for most bands, but Sasquatch rises to the occasion on III. There's a surplus of catchy moments and well-crafted songs.
Sasquatch has always known their way around a barn-burner or two, and III's represented with “Took Me Away,” “Walkin' Shoes,” and “No More Time.” Sure, none of these songs quite match the one-two punch of II's “Barrel of a Gun” and “Seven Years to Saturn,” but it's not for a lack of trying. Where the band really outshines its previous material is on the slower burning material. “Pull Me Under,” “New Disguise,” and “Queen,” and “Bare My Soul” find fertile new ground in the “Love Done Me Wrong” category of blues-rock songwriting. I hate to wish ill on a band that I like, but if that's what it takes to get more tracks like these, well, so be it.
What's also notable about III is the wider, more confident range of songwriting. In addition to the numbers mentioned above and groove-friendly jams like “Soul Shaker,” “Leave It Up to You,” and “Burning Bridges,” the band branches out with the buoyant and almost radio-friendly “Complicated.” Hell, even “Walkin' Shoes” and “No More Time” burn with a brighter, peppier energy. It would have been easy to rely on the formula some could argue was pretty much perfected on their debut, but to the band's credit, they keep pushing themselves. Even better, they succeed at it.
It may have taken longer than expected, due to the departure of original bassist Clayton Charles (ex-Volume/Tummler four-stringer Jason “Cas” Casanova joins drummer Rick Ferrante in the rhythm section), but Sasquatch continues their winning streak with III. It may not be the best rock album of the year, but it's set the bar pretty damn high for 2010. You want it? Sasquatch has it, baby. Highly recommended.
- John Pegoraro
I'm never gonna work another day in my life