Truckfighters @ Electric Ballroom, London 29.04.13

Swedish stoner rock trio tear it up at Desertfest 2013

Apr 29th, 2013 at Electric Ballroom, London / By James Ingham
Truckfighters Working in a school, once parents get wind that you’re into music, a bombardment of band suggestions get thrown your way. Sadly, the vast majority either encourage you to check out a cousin’s band playing The Harvester in Morden on a Monday night (free salad bowl included), or wonder if you’ve heard of bands like (later) Genesis or Led Zeppelin. Wryly you smile, nod and return to clock watching the afternoon away. However, every now and again a true gem comes up.

Four weeks back one of the ‘cooler’ dads tells me about Truckfighters simply saying “they’re fuzzy, overdriven and Swedish” and hands over a stack of CDs. That’s all that was needed. After a few hours of unstoppable Truckfighter stereo time, the realisation was; these guys are amazing! Looking at their touring schedule, Truckfighters had conveniently been booked as part of Desertfest 2013 at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. Bearded was there!

The first thing that stood out, from the moment they took the stage, was the sheer power of sound produced by a three piece. Truckfighters bring together stoner rock, with some more psychedelic and trashy elements held together by massive riffs. Ozo (vocals and bass) and Dango (the guitarist) enigmatically lead the music with their overdriven fuzzy riffs; Dango leaping around the stage (he was everywhere – never seen a guitarist like it) whilst ripping the biggest yet choicest solos over Ozo’s Rage-esq riffs and stodgy lines. At the back, Poncho (the drummer) goes from pounding huge beats to dropping down for the more experimental sections of their music with a complete sense of togetherness and musical understanding bridging the gap between well-rehearsed stoner rock and improvisation. Watching them love playing what they are is so engaging that the whole room is hooked on every riff and every solo. For most of the tracks the singing takes a back seat to the surfeit of quality riffs, although on their newer tracks Ozo takes a bigger role from a singing perspective showing their developing sound.

With the band taking song suggestions from crowd members, the stand out tune of the night has to be ‘Chameleon’ from their 2007 album Phi. This tune was so packed with riffs, drops, false endings and an incredible guitar display that the room exploded; kids and adults alike, sporting Truckfighter tees and caps waving their beers in the air in support of this extraordinary trio.

Needless to say, Truckfighters has been an amazing find and although some of you may be screaming about how this ‘discovery’ is more than a few years behind many fans, I’m very much sold. Publically accredited by Josh Homme as the best band he’s ever seen in their 2011 Fuzzomentary this is big band to get into. Fuzzy, overdriven and Swedish is right. For fans of QOTSA and Red Fang, Truckfighters are it.