Every once in a while, when lamenting the lack of quality music in today's marketplace, you come across a record that just makes your day. It's like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or eating a Wonka bar and realizing you found the last golden ticket. It's unexpected and it makes you feel like there is some hope in this God-forsaken world. Well, that might be a little over the top but I just found me a new record and I can't get enough.
Sasquatch is not just a large, elusive, fuzzy fellow who resides in the Pacific Northwest. Sasquatch is also the name of the group who has blown me away with their latest release "IV". That's the roman numeral 4 and, fittingly, it follows their first three albums titled "I", "II" and "III", respectively. With regard to this album review, "IV" kicks ass.
From the opening foot-tapper "The Message", Sasquatch had me hooked. Dirty, filthy rock and roll is what we have on our hands here. The power trio of Keith Gibbs on guitar and vocals, Jason Casanova on bass and drummer Rick Ferrante have come together to release one hell of an album. How three guys can create such a thick sound is beyond me.
Since no review would be complete without a "but who do they sound like?" section, I hear some early Soundgarden and a distinctive Ozzy influence in the vocal stylings. Everybody has been influenced by Sabbath, so that goes without saying. By way of comparison, Sasquatch is sort of like a crunchier Clutch. The songs are, well, they're just great.
Sasquatch has been filed under "Stoner rock" (whatever that means) by those who make such classifications. The whole album is chock full of in-your-face, head-bobbing rock and roll and there isn't a bad song on the record. As each song ended, I found myself thinking, "Man, that was cool. What's next?". And each time I was rewarded with another track that made me think, "Hell yeah! This rocks too". And so it went.
"IV" is nine tracks of mid-tempo magic, heavy on the distortion, lyrically melodic and dragged through the muck and mire of rock and roll. The guitar leads display a virtuosity but remain understated enough to not overpower the songs. The bass is thick and powerful, and the drumming keeps it all together while demonstrating a subtle complexity of rhythm. The album just oozes with coolness.
"Sweet Lady" has an awesome wah sound attached to the down-tuned fuzz guitar and the hooks... oh, the hooks. They border on genius in their simplicity.
"IV" features some of the grooviest grooves around and an insane bass sound. Looking for more cowbell? You'll find some on track 4, "Money". If blues is more your style you'll find a taste throughout but especially in "Me and You".
If you like your rock with a little sludge mixed in then give Sasquatch a listen. I love the grooves, I love the hooks, I love this record. Thank you, Sasquatch. For what it's worth, you have brought me hope and made my day a little brighter with your music. I think I'll go out and buy a Wonka bar.