Mon 27th August 2007
Stoke is a place made up of several towns lumped together, navigating them is hard for an outsider, but obviously makes sense to those who live there. With as many influences as towns that make up their hometown, Truckdriver Jnr blast through this six-track EP with a self-assured fire that is refreshing to hear.
After a brief, but epic intro, the fantastically paced and Keelhaul-esque 'Pretty Black' bursts forth and is an unrelenting lesson in whip-crack drums and riff methodology. The production is spot-on showcasing both guitars in the mix and frontman Wes' vocals cut through in a full-on roar.
This is particularly evident on the 'Oceanic'-era Isis sturm und drang of 'Sparks Rain Down Like Daggers From The Sky' where a calm, serene section is immediately followed by a crushing, yet uplifting doom riff, and flits between these two for most of the song, really riding a groove, which is a rare thing to do these days, bands seem too obsessed with constantly changing what they are doing throughout a song, and TDJ are showing here theres nothing wrong with ploughing a riff.
A brief respite in instrumental 'Sloane Peterson' and we're back to the almost thrash-speed 'We Are Men Of Action' which rages along at breakneck speed and shows just how varied TDJ can be as a band, if you can count influences on more than one hand thats a good sign for sure. Ending this particular song with an vast, soaring eagle of a riff and some throat-shredding vocals, TDJ really are criminally underrated as a band.
As they close with another smattering of influences in the form of 'Holocaust Cloak' the Hydrahead in this band is evident, but then so is a hint of stoner rock, alot of metal and certainly bags of individuality, a truly innovative and addictive band that people should check out post haste.