October 27, 2022

While change is inevitable and the future of heavy music is an open road, there is still something alluring about modern rock with shades of the past. This is not to say that Canada’s Monster Truck is a complete throwback, but they do provide the good time, ass kicking, bluesy and whiskey-soaked rock ‘n’ roll which will raise a smile on the darkest of days.

Monster Truck
Photo: James Heaslip

If there is something that Monster Truck has always brought to the table and that is passion. Fourth album Warriors is no different in that regard and in just over 30 minutes delivers a record that brims with smoldering positivity that will leave listeners warm and fuzzy all over as well as some huge riffs and enough “whoahs” to last until the end of the year at least. Warriors – like the remainder of the Monster Truck discography – is impossible to dislike, there is something comforting about a band that know what they want and are aiming to deliver songs that has everything necessary from the big riffs to the big choruses that will end up jammed into the head for weeks on end.

In as much as Warriors does not hold major surprises – although they did throw a loop with the infamous Kid Rock team-up – if there is one way that it differs from its 2018 predecessor True Rockers it is that there is a more of a primal undercurrent. As much as True Rockers was rammed with great songs, it does feel restrained in comparison to Warriors which is loose but more powerful on impact. This is not to say that Monster Truck has let go of the melody because Warriors is loaded with one earworm after the other, this is a band that continues to play to its strengths, songs at the core, deftly delivered and played with aforementioned passion.

Opening with the title track – which features a solo from former Sum 41 guitarist Dave Baksh – Warriors begins how it means to go on with an instant fix on grabbing the attention and holding it there with an anthemic blast. Fuzz Mountain is a swampy delight of Sabbath infused blues while the awesome Golden Woman is brisk with the stabs of organ jamming against the main riff and with the wink of an eye in the lyrics. Live Free slows things down but with the grinding guitar line and a superb solo while Country Livin’ is a cowboy-like sitting back and taking it easy away from city life “if you need me, I’ll be out in the yard, drinking sweet tea and playing guitar“, its slide guitar and soulful vibe breaks the album up before the Southern twang of Get My Things And Go (which features Black Stone Cherry’s Chris Robertson) whips up the pace once more.

No-one is going to argue that life does suck at the moment but what Monster Truck offers is a complete escape from all of that which grinds everyone down. There are no complications, big riffs, catchy songs, ripping leads, singalongs and gang vocals that allow the audience to get lost in the moments that the album creates. Warriors does cover plenty of ground over its relatively short running time, there is a rawness which nestles alongside the melody to create a record that is instantly likeable and that does have a foot in nostalgia but is going to be spinning for some time to come.