Dine Alone Records
By Zach Fulkerson
“Alright, here we go.” An auspicious dialogue between band members before kicking into “Why Aren’t You Rocking?” a high energy, arena anthem with the line “Rock and Roll might save your life tonight,” that can most likely be described as the mantra of Hamilton blue collar rockers Monster Truck.
Monster Truck’s latest, Sittin’ Heavy, finds the 4 piece in fine form, feeling even more comfortable at the forefront of Canadian rock. Furiosity, their last album’s success was plentiful, and propelled the band from playing small clubs and bars off word of mouth from their EP to bigger profile shows and even playing for a huge crowd outside of the Rogers Centre before one of David Price’s limited starts for the Toronto Blue Jays (a performance yours truly was at). Already being a fan of the band, I was stoked to hear them say they’d play a new song at this particular performance, and right away I knew that they had upped the ante for this record.
Sittin’ Heavy is yet another example of Monster Truck’s ability to harness classic rock stylings while still maintaining a fresh and exciting sense of modern hooks. The record’s third track, “She’s A Witch” is a great example of melding some 80s arena rock with more southern rock styles that have become so popular over the last decade. Complete with floor stomps and gang vocals, the track rips through it’s 3 and half minute run time with enough might to have headbanger’s necks aching for more, but the melodic listener closely paying attention to the subtle instrumentation of organ and percussion.
Elsewhere on the record, the band experiments somewhat with their sound and as a listener who’s been with the band since their roots, it is really cool to see this progression. The record’s middle track, “Black Forest” begins with a moody organ intro before a fuzz guitar takes over leading to frontman Jon Harvey’s almost Chris Cornell-esque vocal stylings. The band creates a lot of space in this track and it’s a great break from the more constant driving tracks fans will be used to. On track 7, “Things Get Better,” a honky tonk like piano gets things rolling for the band to comment on the trials for the every day man and life’s adversaries. The track features some great guitar lines, once again featuring some southern roots melodies.
Fans of the band’s signature relentless rock style won’t be disappointed as there is plenty of that on the record still, but the band’s evolution is too good to glaze over on this record. Sittin’ Heavy’s final track “Enjoy The Time,” is another example of the melodic sense the band has when writing their songs. With a keyboard melody that almost sounds Beatles reminiscent in the intro, the song is a hopeful ballad of living in the now and being thankful for all the great times you have instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.
Overall, this record is a great addition to Monster Truck’s discography and is faithful to old listeners while sure to bring in more new ones. Although sometimes coming off as a niche band, Monster Truck has managed to include so much variety in their rock style. I applaud them for sticking to their guns while simultaneously branching out to make something coherently classic and progressive.