Swedish rockers Truckfighters return with V – so called because it is their fifth album. 15 years’ of existence has been kind to Ozo (vocals & bass), Dango (guitar) and El Danno (drums) who have grown exponentially, which really shows on their newest outing.
We’ll start with the bottom line, because it is the salient point: V is a huge record. Simply massive. The scale of the record at the very core is outstanding – 7 tracks, 47 minutes. That’s no small feat. What’s more, the songs are so well crafted, too. The production value is very high indeed.
‘Calm Before the Storm‘ kicks things into gear with a very prog rock opening, their 70s/stoner rock influences shining through. Before long, their customary, fuzz-filled tone is laid on heavy. At 8:15, this is the longest track on the album, which allows it to go through all the motions. The pre-chorus is beautifully haunting, before switching up the tempo to get heads nodding behind Ozo’s surging vocals.
The other bookend of the album come sin the form of the stunning ‘Storyline‘. This is the definition of a multi-tiered track – fuzz turned up to 11 for the opening, sludge-thick basslines and beautiful vocals for the middle and a gorgeous closing, all peppered with changes in tempo which allows the band to showcase all of their strengths. Bold desert rock and gentler, balladesque phrasing never complemented each other so well.
That said – producing such a long-running album out of so few tracks can lead to some tracks feeling like they drag. Similarly, they have fallen into the trap of a lot of songs sounding similar. Something else that has become clear is that when you are listening to V, it is all spectacularly ensnaring and you get sucked in, but once you press stop and you step away from the record, you are hard pressed to remember much of it. But we say again – coming back to it is a real treat.
But without that lasting experience and lingering impression, it is hard to know what to say about V. It treads that fine line of being their best work and forgettable at the same time. Nevertheless, Truckfighters are onto something with this record. The composition and texture of the album is outstanding and we are excited for what the future brings. We just aren’t sure we’ll remember being excited by then.