Friday Full-Length: Truckfighters, Mania

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

 

It was a put-up-or-shut-up moment for Sweden’s Truckfighters. Time to show who they really were going to be as a band and what their impact would be over the longer term. Their 2005 debut, Gravity X (discussed here), had certainly produced its share of memorable tracks, including “Gweedo-Weedo,” “Manhattan Project,” “Gargarismo” and its essential leadoff, “Desert Cruiser,” which over the years since would become the band’s signature piece. But 2007’s Phi seemed to be in an awkward place, with the Örebro three-piece adding a second guitarist in an experiment that ultimately wouldn’t last. It had been more than five years since they got their start on a split with bassist/vocalist Oskar Cedermalm‘s prior band, Firestone (discussed here), and as with so many third albums, it was time for Truckfighters to determine the direction they wanted their material to manifest.

On some level, conscious or not, they must have known it, because 2009’s Mania (review here) meets the formidable task before it in a way that’s nothing if not head-on. It’s the release by which I’ve judged every Truckfighters release since, and a significant standard to which a record might live up, taking the fuzz and memorable hooks of Gravity X and the somewhat moodier vibe of Phi and bringing them together is a way that showed heavy rock did not have to just be one thing. It didn’t just have to be out there, cruising in the desert. It could be progressive, heavy and energetic all at the same time. It could be richly melodic. It could be weighted and contemplative feeling. And in a quick turn, it could be fun, catchy, and nonetheless clear in its intention to engage the listener. With ManiaCedermalm, guitarist Niklas Källgren and then-drummer Oscar “Pezo” Johansson solidified Truckfighters‘ sound around something that could grow in multiple directions, and thereby helped set the stage for what’s come after, both from them and from a generation of heavy rockers who’ve worked to some degree or other under their influence.

It’s debatable whether Truckfighters‘ greater contribution to heavy rock has been on stage or in the studio. Largely self-recorded and self-released, their fuzzy tones have become a signature that’s recognizable in their work as well as in plenty of other acts, but what they do live is perhaps even more immediately striking. Cedermalm and Källgren, as the two founders and essential figures in the band, have a reputation for onstage physicality that is well earned, and I’ve seen them play sets that look as much like an aerobic workout as an artistic performance. Not every band can or wants to do that, of course, but Europe over the last decade has seen a boom of similarly-inclined heavy rock delivery, in the UK, in Germany, in Greece and elsewhere, and certainly Truckfighters have toured enough in that time — including in North America — to spread their influence across borders.

truckfighters mania

But Mania is also dynamic in a way that extends to being more than just a vehicle for a band to run back and forth and jump off drum risers while they play. Songs like the closer “Blackness,” the relatively mellow but still hooky leadoff “Last Curfew” and most especially the 13-minute “Majestic” and the later “Con of Man” actively, willfully push the Truckfighters sound and style to places it hadn’t yet been, reaching a new level of accomplishment as a result. This happened at the same time the early, drum-led “Monte Gargano” reconfirmed their desert rock mindset, and the subsequent “The New High” acted as a bridge from one side to another ahead of the arrival of “Majestic,” still relatively early in Mania‘s eight-song/50-minute run. The album sets up a back-and-forth dynamic, really from the start but especially from “Majestic” onward, that sees them push and pull between more straight-ahead fare and proggier impulses.

“Majestic” — which every bit lives up to its title via a sprawl the band has tried multiple times to recapture — and “Con of Man” are separated by the four-minute “Monster,” which emerges on revisit as a kind of lost standout. Surely overwhelmed by the sweep of what comes directly before and after, as nearly anything would be, its foundation in acoustic and electric guitar blend is itself a forward step for Truckfighters, and Cedermalm‘s laid back vocal there sets gives the song an all the more sunshiny vibe, only emphasizing the contrast in the severity of “Con of Man,” thereby enhancing the effect of both cuts on the audience. This, as well as the penultimate “Loose” — which seems like a direct answer stylistically and thematically to “Desert Cruiser” and is the shortest inclusion at 3:44 — bring a lightness to the end of Mania to keep it from taking itself too seriously. They remind that, hey, we’re all here to have a good time, and speak to a breadth in Truckfighters‘ songcraft that they’ve continued to develop in the years since.

It would be four years before they’d release anything else, but much of that time was spent touring. They came to America for the first time. They had a documentary made about them in 2012. They were on the road again and again in Europe, helping lead the charge of a booming underground heavy festival scene that continues to develop. An EP, The Chairman (discussed here), arrived in 2013, followed the next year by the Universe LP (review here) that seemed to pick up where Mania left off and present Truckfighters‘ growth as an ongoing process, and of course, more heavy road work. A licensing deal through their Fuzzorama Records imprint with Century Media resulted in wider distribution for 2016’s (review here), and they complemented that with the self-released Live in London (review here) that same year, courting controversy as well for their video for “Calm Before the Storm” (discussed here) from the V album. After weathering that and yet more touring, they announced a “long, long” hiatus in 2018 that lasted just about a year before they got back together and decided to hit the road playing Gravity X in full. “You can’t escape from what you are,” their statement said at the time, seeming almost resigned to the fact. Fair enough.

Whatever happens with, to or for them next, Mania 10 years later still holds up as a high point of their output to-date. I won’t take anything away from their other studio releases, but no question this was a special moment, and in a put-up-or-shut-up scenario, they every bit exceeded all expectations and helped reshape what fuzz rock could be.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

That it? Is the week done? Is it ever really over? Nah, not these days.

Whatever.

Life with The Toddlerian Pecan — this strange pain-in-the-ass alien who’s replaced the gorgeous chubby-cheeked baby who was my son mere months ago — continues to provide an assortment of thrills and spills. The Patient Mrs. has had to work all week, as one will when one has, you know, a job — she gotta bring home that bacon to support my ever-expanding blogger-ass — and so it’s been me and him. Me vs. him. I forfeit. He wins. I used to say that if I died in the house by myself, I was cool with The Little Dog Dio eating my face to survive. I don’t know in what scenario it ever would’ve happened like that, but you know, yeah. Well, I’m pretty sure The Pecan is getting ready to eat my face while I’m still alive and then cha-cha-cha stompy-foot dance on my exposed skull. Laughing his adorable laugh all the while.

I’ve never done heroin, but I imagine that laugh is what it’s like.

So it was that kind of week. Especially yesterday morning, which was h-a-r-d. I know I’m not exactly doing the world a favor by having a kid in the first place. Great. One more white dude. That’s bound to make everything better. But man, some days it sure feels like I’m doing him a favor by not opening the door and telling him to go live in the woods. You like squirrels so damn much? Off you go!

He’d go, too. Probably build himself a treehouse, the little fucker.

He’s not yet two. That’s next week.

So. So, so, so.

Speaking of next week, I think I’m gonna go see The Well at the Vitus Bar on Wednesday. Could stand to get out for a bit, and that’s probably just enough traffic to set me right. Also look for reviews of the new Om live LP, an interview with Colour Haze about their new LP (that’s on Monday), a premiere of The Lone Madman and a review of the new Year of the Cobra. That’s your week, right there. I’m sure there will be other stuff. I can’t seem to get through laying out a week on a Friday lately without something changing that day.

Today, for example, my initial plan was the Ogre stream. Then the Bible Black Tyrant premiere came together. Fine. Then last night, the Via Vengeance premiere came together last-minute. Well, okay. So yeah. One day, three premieres, six posts, one of which is this already-gone-on-too-long chicanery. Call it madness, because it is.

Ah shit, Pecan’s awake. 6:20, for the record. I got up at 4, as ever.

Real life.

Not that fake life.

Real life.

Great and safe weekend. Forum and radio. I swear there’s new merch coming soon.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

The Obelisk shirts & hoodies

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Truckfighters Announce Fuzz Festival #1 on Dec. 7 in Stockholm

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

I’ll be honest, I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing an Obelisk All-Dayer in Stockholm, Sweden, sometime in summer 2020. Basically whenever wouldn’t conflict with Sweden Rock, which as I understand it, is massive. Oddly enough, in Europe, Sweden is not the hugest market despite the glut of bands from there, and Debaser is a club that had come up in conversation. The thought that Truckfighters are doing a fest there — let alone one with Greenleaf involved — might just shoot that idea in the ass. We’ll see. Either way, even with half the lineup unveiled, what’s been dubbed Fuzz Festival #1 already looks like a damn good time. Truckfighters will headline playing Gravity X in full — back to front, as I understand it, so they can close with “Desert Cruiser”; only fair — and there’s the aforementioned Greenleaf, as well as Motorowl from Germany and Swedish hard rockers Deville, who’ll represent TruckfightersFuzzorama Records imprint well.

Speculation as to the rest of the lineup? I have to think Asteroid will be involved, schedule permitting, but I don’t know that. As to the rest, it’s pretty wide open. Maybe Skraeckoedlan, if they’re looking for more Swedish representation? We’ll see June 5 when they make their next announcement, I guess. In the meantime, I’d go. I’ll leave it at that.

From the PR wire:

fuzz festival poster

Truckfighters presents Fuzz Festival #1, Stockholm

Get your ticket now! Early birds for just 330 SEK (ca 30 EUR)

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKET

We are proud and happy to present our own fuzz festival!

After years of touring around the world we bring our favorite concept home to Sweden: a club festival dedicated to fuzz/stoner and heavy rock.

There’ll be two stages, eight bands and of course a lot of fuzz…

Line up so far:
TRUCKFIGHTERS (plays Gravity X)
GREENLEAF
MOTOROWL
DEVILLE

MORE BANDS TO COME! Next band announcement June 5th.

*Live music from 6pm til midnight. *Afterparty at Bar Brooklyn until 3am.

Early bird tickets cost 330 SEK (ca 30 EUR) and are sold until June 4th.

On June 5th our next band announcement will take place. From then the tickets will cost 395 SEK. (ca 37EUR)

The Venue is located on the island of Södermalm, in Stockholm. This is a very nice area in the central parts of town.

We would love it if the venue got packed with happy people so please spread the word. Bring your friends, tell everyone!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2228095327452231/
http://www.truckfighters.com/festival

Greenleaf, “Highway Officer” live in Malmö, Sweden, 2018

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Up in Smoke 2019 Adds Lowrider, Nebula, Truckfighters, Steak and Lord Kesseli & the Drums

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 2nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Sometimes these Euro fest announcements just feel like bragging. Like, “Oh yeah? Think you’re so great ‘cuz you got Nebula and Lowrider and Truckfighters and Amenra and The Obsessed and Lo-Pan and… well shit, I guess that is pretty great.” Kudos to Up in Smoke 2019 on what is thus far a standout bill even among its shared aspects with the other autumnal gatherings, be it Into the Void or Keep it Low or Desertfest Belgium or probably others at this point I just can’t think of off the top of my head let alone track the announcements for. I’ve never been to Switzerland, and I’m not sure it would take much convincing to get me there were the funds available, but needless to say, something like this would easily do the trick.

I particularly like the idea of Nebula and Lowrider on the same bill, what with their by-now-classic split (discussed here) and all. I know there’s no guarantee their sets will be back to back, but some acknowledgement of the two sharing the stage would be cool in light of that release. It was something special.

Oh, and having just seen Steak at Desertfest New York this past weekend, you’re gonna want to show up for that set. Just a heads up.

Full announcement follows as per thee social medias:

up in smoke 2019 banner

Truckfighters + Nebula + Lowrider + Steak + Lord Kesseli & the Drums

Smokers,

Please join in on this little announcement with five great bands. This time we’re going local and of course also international. We have some aces up our sleeves and back in the good old wild west we would probably get shot in the back for that. Hopefully for us, we will instead get some love from you by sharing these names with you:

Yes, they’re back! They’re not from the middle of nowhere, but from the middle of Sweden. Truckfighters have already toured the world, spread the fuzz, got robbed in the US and put the band on hold. Now they return with full strength and play their legendary debut album “Gravity X” from the finish to the start. Make sure to put on your helmet, the gravitation will be ruthless this evening.

On June 7th Nebula is releasing their new album “Holy Shit”, their first album in ten years. We are happy to present them for you so that you can experience some of the new tracks live. What we also hope is that they play the songs from the Meteor City split they released with Lowrider. Both bands will be at the festival and play on the same day. Smokers, get ready for the cool riffs and some holy shit!

Over the last five years the Swedes in Lowrider have been like Phoenix rising from the ashes. The band has specialized in delivering fantastic stage performances wherever they play, regardless of circumstances or stage size. We are psyched and hope they play tunes from their classic MeteorCity split with Nebula! The band is soon releasing a brand new EP called “Refractions”, the first new material since 2001.

Steak played at the first festival and we are happy to bring them back to you after all these years. The Londoners knows how to write catchy tunes with a groovy vibe. These four rock ‘n’ rollers will fulfill everyone’s dreams of a smokin’ good air guitar riff. This is the shit if you want to jump around and party hard.

Dominik Kesseli and Michael Gallusser is hiding behind the dynamic duo Lord Kesseli & The Drums. This is laid back, melodic, with harmonies, yet it sometimes erupts like a volcano with a heavy riff. Here is the band that will fill your ears with balm and for you to catch your breath. Enjoy the Swiss duo that for sure will stand out at this year’s festival.

Tickets http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1665

https://www.sol-tickets.com/produkte/36-tickets-up-in-smoke-konzertfabrik-z7-pratteln-am-03-10-2019
http://www.z-7.ch/event.php?eventid=1665
https://www.facebook.com/UpInSmokeIndoorFestivalInZ7/
https://www.facebook.com/events/1811016498954043/
https://www.upinsmoke.de

Lowrider, “Lameneshma” live at Desertfest Berlin 2017

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Sleep, Truckfighters, Temple Fang, Monomyth and 30,000 Monkies to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Even as the first-ever Desertfest New York gets ready to roll out next week and Desertfest London and Berlin prepare to follow soon thereafter, the autumnal incarnation, Desertfest Belgium 2019, has begun to unveil its lineup for this October. They had their work cut out for them in topping the 2018 lineup, but let’s face it, if you’re going to do that, announcing Sleep as a headliner right out of the gate is probably the way to go. It’s like, “Oh, well, that settles that, then. This’ll rule.” Not that the reunited Truckfighters, Monomyth, Temple Fang or even 30,000 Monkies are anything to sneeze at, but let’s face it, you don’t announce Sleep first unless you’re trying to make an impression. Mission accomplished. Impression made.

This of course will be the first of many Desertfest Belgium 2019 announcements, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if by the time October gets here, Desertfest London and Berlin are back revealing their respective lineups for 2020. The cycle is ongoing. Cyclical, you might say.

Here’s word from Antwerp:

desertfest belgium 2019 first poster

The moment you have all been waiting for! The first thing we can tell you about DFBE ’19 is that YES, your prayers have been answered. The Mighty Sleep will be headlining our Fest this year!

Of course, that’s just the first of many names. We are equally delighted to welcome back Truckfighters and the cosmic Monomyth to our stage. For more Northern heavy pysch grooves, look no further than Temple Fang. And finally, we want to introduce you to the first Belgian homebrew act for this year’s Fest: 30,000 Monkies.

And with that, the ticket sale is ON! Reduced Combi Tickets are available for a limited time only for €100, all costs included. We have also brought back the Hotel Accommodation deal, find the details on our website. Be swift to avoid disappointment, go get them tickets!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/
https://twitter.com/DesertfestBE

Sleep, “Sonic Titan” live at Roadburn 2019

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Keep it Low 2019: Truckfighters, Ecstatic Vision, Ruff Majik and Instrument Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 27th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

keep it low 2019 banner

One of the hazards in being so behind on shit all the time — all. the. time. — is temporal displacement. Thus, yesterday when I posted about Truckfighters making their reunion official and playing Keep it Low 2019 this Fall as a part of that process, that went up first, but actually came after the announcement that the Munich-based festival would host them this October. Does it matter? No. Is anyone other than me paying the slightest bit of attention? I can’t imagine they are. But, you know, temporal displacement. Someone call the DTI.

Good luck with that reference.

While I’m talking to myself, let me encourage you (me) wholeheartedly to dig into the new Ruff Majik single beneath the announcement from Keep it Low that follows. They have a new album coming that I’m hoping to premiere a song from when the time comes, and I think “Schizophrenic” is a pretty good indicator of why I’d want to do such a thing. They of course will also play Keep it Low, along with Philly’s Ecstatic Vision (new album? they’re due) and Munich’s own Instrument. It’s a solid bill, and no doubt there are even more announcements to follow. I’ll do my best to keep up, if only for my own edification.

Kaboom:

keep it low 2019 poster

Truckfighters confirmed for Keep It Low Festival 2019!

Yes Keepers, you read it right!

Truckfighters’ hiatus is over and they will soon hit the stage again!! They played our very first edition of Keep It Low Festival in 2013, and we are thrilled to have them back in Munich this year to play their album “Gravity X” from finish to start!

Along with them, we are proud to announce today that Pennsylvania Heavy Psych quartet Ecstatic Vision, South African Garage trio Ruff Majik & Munich-based Postrock outfit Instrument are added to our 2019 line-up as well!

There aren’t many 2-day tickets left so better be fast and get them here: www.keepitlow.de/tickets-keep-it-low

https://www.facebook.com/events/250328939168797/
https://www.facebook.com/keepitlowfestival
https://www.facebook.com/Soundofliberation/
https://www.soundofliberation.com/

Ruff Majik, “Schizophrenic”

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Truckfighters Confirm Reunion; Announce Tour Celebrating Gravity X

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

truckfighters

With the announcements that they would play Psycho Las Vegas in August and Keep it Low and Into the Void in October, a full Truckfighters reunion was more or less assumed, but confirmation is always nice. The Swedish fuzz mavens are back after a hiatus announced last February that at the time was said to be “long, long.” Well, so much for that. There’s a certain amount of resignation in the tagline with which they’re returning — “You can’t escape from what you are” — but there’s little doubt Truckfighters will bring their trademark energy back to the stage as they tour celebrating their 2005 debut, Gravity X (discussed here), ahead of its 15th anniversary in 2020.

The short version of this story is I’m glad these guys are back. Not only are they one of the best heavy rock live acts of their generation, but I genuinely think they had more to say as a band, as their last album, 2016’s V (review here), plainly demonstrated. I’ll look forward to whatever they do next, including, it would seem, a good amount of touring.

Word came down the PR wire as it does:

truckfighters gravity x tour

The truck of fuzz is refueled and ready to hit the road…

You can’t escape from what you are.

The answer could be as simple as that.

Almost two years off the grid the band returns with a world tour to celebrate their first album ‘Gravity X’. Originally released 2005 in Europe (2006 USA) the genre classic turns 15 years in 2020. The band gives the celebration a jump start second half of 2019 with selected shows in North America and a big European tour. The rest of the world to follow in 2020-2021.

This time the plans don’t go further, what happens happens. There’s only so much you can control in life.

If ever there was any doubt, this time off has shown the band members who they really are. With the ambition to play enough shows to satisfy their inner urge without losing the motivation, it is safe to say the touring will be less frequent than the most intense years of the band. Just as safe as is it to say that the shows will be better than ever and as always with a hell of a fuzzy sound!

Truckfighters
‘GRAVITY X – from finish to start world tour’.
(More shows to be announced)
Aug 18:th @ Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas (USA) – Psycho Las Vegas Festival
Aug 22:nd @ Sala, Mexico City (MEX) [ Tickets on Sale April 20th]
Oct 4:th @ Posthof, Linz (A) – Night of fuzz
Oct 5:th @ Szene, Wien (A) – Night of fuzz
Oct 6:th @ Beatpol, Dresden (D)
Oct 8:th @ Hydrzagadka, Warsaw (P)
Oct 9:th @ Festsaal, Berlin (D)
Oct 10:th @ Knust, Hamburg (D)
Oct 11:th @ Universum, Stuttgart (D)
Oct 12:th @ Feierwerk, München (D) – Keep it low festival
Oct 13:th @ Helios, Köln (D)
Oct 14:th @ the Garage, London (UK)
Oct 17:th @ Petit Bain, Paris (FR)
Oct 19:th @ Neushoorn, Leeuwarden (NL) – Into the void festival

http://www.truckfighters.com
https://www.facebook.com/truckfighters
https://twitter.com/truckfighters
https://www.youtube.com/user/TruckfightersTV

Truckfighters, Gravity X (2005)

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Psycho Las Vegas 2019: Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Truckfighters, WarHorse, Hangman’s Chair, The Black Angels and Devil Master Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

psycho las vegas 2019 logo

Psycho Las Vegas 2019 has continued to defy press release-style convention and leak out bands one at a time for its lineup this August at Mandalay Bay on the Strip. I don’t think you need me to tell you this is going to be fucking off the wall, but consider it said anyhow. And it’s worth noting just how broad the latest batch of additions is. From post-rock kingpins Godspeed You! Black Emperor to a reunion for the perennially drummer-less Truckfighters to bringing Hangman’s Chair over from France with so-hot-right-now black metallers Devil Master to importing WarHorse for a non-Eastern Seaboard appearance — from what I hear, Terry Savastano (GriefCome to Grief) will be playing guitar for this show as well — and lysergic soakers The Black Angels, it’s every bit as all-things-to-all-deviants as one could ask, and whatever stages these bands are actually playing on, you just know it’s going to be a win.

The images as posted by the fest follow here, along with what I’m pretty sure is the complete current lineup — if it isn’t, it’s certainly badass enough to cover it — and ticket info from the PR wire.

Dig it:

America’s rock ‘n’ roll bacchanal returns as PSYCHO LAS VEGAS brings its annual debauchery and unbridled volume to the Strip itself, with a move to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino that sets the stage for a Las Vegas Boulevard takeover, the likes of which have never been seen.

Lineup so far:
Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
High on Fire
Glassjaw
YOB
Perturbator
Kadavar
Oranssi Pazuzu
Electric Wizard
Fu Manchu
Graveyard
Truckfighters
WarHorse
The Black Angels
Devil Master
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Hangman’s Chair
Amenra
Deafheaven
Old Man Gloom
Clutch
Power Trip
Bad Religion
Rotting Christ

Slated for August 16th through August 18th, PSYCHO LAS VEGAS 2019 will feature four stages, including the newly renovated Events Center, the iconic House Of Blues, the Mandalay Bay Beach, featuring a wave pool and lazy river, and an old-school Vegas-style Lounge smack dab in the middle of the casino floor. While all of the venues are located on the property, Mandalay Bay is connected by a complimentary tram service that provides easy access to affordable accommodations such as Luxor and Excalibur. Attendees will have access to discounted rates at all of these properties and other MGM hotels and resorts down the Strip.

The highly coveted “Psycho Special” passes, notorious for selling out instantly, are priced at $99, plus taxes and fees and go on sale Thursday, November 29th at 10:00am PST. Weekender General Admission passes are priced at $249, plus taxes and fees, and will increase to $299, plus taxes and fees, once the first tier sells out. Only 300 High Roller VIP passes will be sold at $499, plus taxes and fees, with package details to be announced in December. Single-day tickets will be available in the Spring at $109, plus taxes and fees. While the festival format will remain largely the same as previous years, the Thursday pre-party at DAYLIGHT Beach Club will be a more intimate event for attendees and will require a separate ticket from the festival pass. Tickets and more information available at VivaPsycho.com.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2035404693146567/
https://www.facebook.com/psychoLasVegas/
https://www.instagram.com/psycholasvegas/
http://vivapsycho.com

WarHorse, As Heaven Turns to Ash… (2001)

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Truckfighters Announce “Long, Long” Indefinite Hiatus

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Bummer news out of Sweden in that Örebro-based fuzz forerunners Truckfighters have decided at least for now. The band, helmed by the core founding duo of Oskar “Ozo” Cedermalm and Niklas “Dango” Källgren, have spent the last decade-plus touring Europe and beyond, acting as a pioneering act proving that indeed there’s an appetite in the North American market for European heavy rock. Their latest album, V (review here), was the first in a licensing alliance between their own Fuzzorama Records imprint and Century Media. It may well be their last.

Hard to say what the ultimate impact of Truckfighters‘ work will have been — Cedermalm and Källgren working with a succession of drummers including Oscar “Pezo” Johansson, who was featured in the 2012 band-doc Fuzzomentary (review here) and would go on to do a stint in Witchcraft  — because, frankly, it’s still shaking out. Truckfighers made their debut in 2005 with Gravity X (discussed here), and between that and their ultra-well-earned reputation for on-stage calisthenics as captured on the 2016 live album Live in London (review here), delivering flawless sets while headbanging, jumping up and down — Dango could get some air — and generally physically engaging with their audience and their music itself, their influence continues to spread not only throughout Sweden, but greater Europe and the US as well. A new generation of fuzz rockers might have come along one way the other, but there’s no question its shape would be much different without Truckfighters spending the better art of the last decade on the road so actively kicking ass.

Truckfighters‘s studio work also became increasingly progressive over their five albums, Gravity X and it 2007 follow-up, Phi, signaling just the beginning of a sonic expansion that would continue steadily through 2oo9’s excellent Mania (review here), 2014’s Universe (review here), and of course V itself, which earned the band some controversy surrounding their video for “Calm Before the Storm” (posted here). That notwithstanding, V had a generally melancholic vibe in some of its tracks that left one wondering how the band would meld that with their high-energy stage presentation. As I was fortunate enough to find out for myself late in 2016 on seeing the band play in Oslo, they simply did it and it worked. I guess having more than 10 years under your belt lets you do that kind of thing and pretty much anything else you want when you’re actually just a really good band.

They pushed their sound pretty far with V, but it’s still a bummer to lose Truckfighters even for what they’re calling a “long, long” indefinite hiatus. Never say never in rock and roll — one doesn’t even have to leave Örebro to find Graveyard as an example of a band-breakup that simply didn’t stick — but if they are done, they went out on their own terms having delivered top quality performances both in the studio and on stage, and achieved worldwide notoriety and influence as a result. Frankly, that’s more than most get, when it comes right down to it. Still, they’ll be missed.

All the best to Cedermalm and Källgren going forward. Here’s their announcement from the social medias:

truckfighters

Sad news for some, but totally necessary. Truckfighters is on a long, long hiatus. Might come back stronger than ever (that’s the only way) or not at all! We’ve been releasing many albums that we’re very proud of and the key is that we’ve always played because of the pure fun out of it. That’s the only thing that counts and in the end made us do what we did so good for so many years… We’re not that kind of band continuing doing something just because we make money out of it ;)

A big THANK YOU to all the amazing fans and people we’ve meet over the years, some more amazing that others but you all deserve a big hug.

Fuzz n’ out!

http://www.truckfighters.com
https://www.facebook.com/truckfighters
https://twitter.com/truckfighters
https://www.youtube.com/user/TruckfightersTV
http://www.centurymedia.com/

Truckfighters, Live in London

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