Spacetrucker – Smooth Orbit
Release Date: 17/08/2018
Running Time: 51:00
Review by: Alun Jones
“Have a listen to Spacetrucker, I think you’ll like them!” came the recommendation from Rick at Ever Metal HQ. So I did. And he was right – the “Smooth Orbit” album is one of the most exciting listens I’ve had for a long, long time.
These psychedelic space monkeys have created a superb Stoner Rock classic that’s right up my space lane. Throw in some fuzzy Grunge and Classic Rock and Spacetrucker have achieved the almost impossible: put a huge, acid-warped grin on my ancient, grumbly mug.
First track ‘Sample Of A Sample’ warms the jets up nicely for take-off with a trippy lead and some bongos. Yes, bongos! Past the two-minute mark it erupts into a face-melter of a riff that had my cranium nodding like an Easter Island statue after some herbal refreshment.
Mike Owen (guitar/vocals), Rob Wagoner (bass/vocals) and Del Toro (drums) seem to be able to magically conjure up the grooves with uncanny ease. ‘Meat Wagon’ is another brilliant track with a pulsating, infectious riff.
In true lazy journo style (hey, I’ve had a few), Spacetrucker combine the stoner slouch of Fu Manchu and early QOTSA with classic Sabbath and Purple, mixing in some Mudhoney and Melvins fuzzy sludge on the way. Perfect, in other words. If any of those bands get your hyper drive firing, this is for you.
There are some Iommi-esque shorter numbers and experimental sounds that add a further dimension to the proceedings, constantly keeping the listener on their toes. ‘Vanishing Point, Science of Us’ has an almost Nirvana Unplugged vibe before bursting into a crushing rocker. This is followed by another monster riff with ‘Pulling Teeth’.
Plus the final track, ‘Lost In The Sauce’, is over ten minutes long! An extended jam floats in and builds beautifully, never rushing but enticing the listener along on every step…!
This might not be the most critical review I’ve composed, but I don’t care. “Smooth Orbit” is a triumph of an album and I love it. The only reason it didn’t get ten out of ten is it needs more references to skateboards and 1970’s muscle cars. Other than that, I need a vinyl version, please?
If any of the above references to sub-genre labels and other bands resonates with you, I urge you do a Boba Fett and track this album down now.
All of this “space trucking” talk reminds me my days working with Deep Purple back in the early seventies. I was working as the band’s roadie/driver when one time, in the middle of the night in the Arizona desert, we got a flat. I left the Purps partying in the back whilst I went out in to the freezing, dusty highway to change the tyre. I was distracted for a moment, and I swear blind that I saw several lights zipping about in the sky at unbelievable speeds. “UFOs!” I thought.
I rushed back onto the bus and dragged the band out to take look (all except Roger Glover, who was busy knitting). Except when we got outside, the lights had vanished. The Purps weren’t amused and blamed it on me overindulging in peyote. Gillan was very gentlemanly about it all and even gave me a hand with the tyre. Blackmore had a tantrum about the delay and docked me a day’s pay. The bastard!
01. Sample Of A Sample
02. Not As Hung
04. Meat Wagon
05. Fuck Up
06. Hotbox Airlock
07. Cat March
09. Vanishing Point
10. Lost In The Sauce
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