Go on, just from the name guess what kind of music Spacetrucker play? Actually yes, but this St Louis trio have a little more under their cosmic hood than meets the eye. This is I believe their second self released album since 2016 so I guess they like to knuckle down and work too.
‘Sample Of A Sample’ starts off I guess in a fairly predictable way – some noise that might be a space rocket easing it’s way to orbit and a melancholy guitar refrain echoing in a space rock/stoner kind of way. Nice clear sound too as the toms come in. The riff when it arrives is a nice buzzing downtimes but of stoner/ desert rock. The vocals are nice too, just a curious element to their recording that makes the sound very live. In fact as the guitar goes on a rough edges break you notice how live the entire thing feels; a real three piece sound with the bass backfilling as the guitar takes off. There’s a real harsh edge to them as well, one it’s difficult to put your finger on just here. One thing is for sure, the sound of Spacetrucker has lot more edge to it that most.
The curiously titled ‘Not As Hung’ is a good, dense stoner workout, again with more grit and thump than the normal and I have to say the band is growing on me a lot by now. Nothing slides by, everything gouges on its way past. The drums are terrific here as the riffs stomp and batter onwards; a real driven piece. ‘Beach’ is a short instrumental with an almost Godflesh bass line and choppy guitar, a curious little break again showing this is not yer standard stoner.
It all becomes a little clearer with ‘Meat Wagon’. There is a real grunge influence amongst the Sabbath and Kyuss downtimes riffs. ‘Meat Wagon’ has the weird feeling of sounding like Nirvana trying to muscle into Electric Wizard territory; the vocals split evenly between the two and the tune surging between those quiet Nirvana moments with a lonely stoner taint to the melody and the crashing riffs with enough low end grunt to bulldoze its way through Dopethrone. It’s cool, very cool.
‘Fuck Up’ is a good (mostly) instrumental with enough groove and bounce to do a desert dance to. ‘Hotbox Airlock’ is a little melodic cracker, some fine baselines threading their way through the spaced out lyrics. The weird thing is the vocals here, and the melody they carry, remind me of…er…early Squeeze! Stop laughing at the back, I can hear you know. Look it does. You could imagine at this moment the band breaking out into a thumping, dirty riff rendition of ‘Take Me I’m Yours’ (If you don’t know it, did it up on YouTube or something and then tell me it isn’t dying for a super heavy cover).
Another punishing little grunge influenced dredge of an industrial ‘Cat March’ drop us off at ‘Vanishing Point_Science Of Us’. It begins nice and laid back before the intense, and catchy space rock refrain kicks in. Another super lead workout with some great dexterous drums and bass to fill in seamlessly just highlight that Spacetrucker should be an awesome live band.
‘Pulling Teeth’ starts in more smashing teeth mode and still with the more Sub Pop end of bringer twisted in its DNA, a…er..tad of Tad maybe, even Mudhoney, but all filtered through this fine space/stoner rock inclination. Honestly this is real hybrid stuff and so much the better for it.
‘Lost In Space’ is an epic, slow burning, gradually building drift of a song in classic space rock mode that reminds me initially of something skin to Sungrazer before the ebb and flow riff lockup a little and the engines fire. It’s a great, epic and noisy end to the album.
I’m guessing that stoner/space/desert rock purists may have a bone to pick with Spacetrucker but that’s their loss. What we have here is a great chimaera of a sound, one that has melded itself into one monster right down to the roots and are not just stronger but more interesting for it.
If you’re into stoner you should hear this. If you’re just into great riff driven rock and grunge then ditto. Stick out yer thumb and maybe they’ll slow down just long enough to take you on a real ride.