Fu Manchu King of the Road (Mammoth)

SXSW Records

Fu Manchu

King of the Road (Mammoth)

If Fu Manchu's first Mammoth release, In Search Of ... , could be summed up in two words -- Black Sabbath -- then its third can be summed up in two words as well: Deep Purple. Or maybe it's Uriah Heep. What about Fog Hat? Technically that's one word, Foghat, but you get the gist. King of the Road is another rock & roll road trip back to the early days of the Carter administration, sounding like an album that could have been made in 1977. Correction, it sounds like an album that was made in 1977. It's full of obscenely fat guitar licks à la Frehley, Blackmore, Iommi (and the most perfect AC/DC break you've ever heard in the middle of "Over the Edge"); treble-free tones; and more songs about driving and vans. It'd be stupid if it weren't so thoroughly convincing and didn't rock so unrelentingly. Actually, it is stupid in a mindless kind of way, but that's part of the masquerade, because the best Seventies rock was big and dumb. Although everything sounds like it was done before -- even the cover of Devo's "Freedom of Choice" (Soundgarden covering "Girl U Want" perhaps?) -- that's a double-edged riff. On the one hand, it's such a perfect evocation of the past that it makes you feel like a time traveler. On the other, it's nothing new, so it will get old that much more quickly. Until it does, it's all part of a rock & roll fantasy come true. (Friday, Mar 17, Waterloo Brewing Co., midnight)

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