Sasquatch – Maneuvers

Sasquatch may namecheck Black Sabbath and Soundgarden in their Bandcamp biography these days, but in all honesty, it’s been hard to draw many parallels with the latter over the course of their first four albums aside from the odd vocal motif here or buzzy riff there. That all changes on ‘Maneuvers’ though, their first album to carry a “proper” title, with those little Garden-y moments pushed to the fore and given the breathing space you never knew they needed. Traditionally more of a straightforward lock-into-a-groove-and-run-with-it kind of outfit, the band take that basic canvas and loosen the guy-ropes, allowing the guitars to creep into every last bit of space like vines, enveloping the rhythm in a lush, brittle velvet while maintaining a signature tone that sounds like 1,000 hornets trapped in a lightbulb. On top of that, Keith Gibbs’ vocals have taken on a Chris Cornell vibe that lends itself wonderfully to the band’s newfound chill, adopting his sonic soar and twitchy inflections to carry the songs on a more three-dimensional journey, reminding that the voice is an instrument as important as any drum or guitar. Tracks like opener ‘Rational Woman’ and ‘Just Couldn’t Stand the Weather’ will no doubt satisfy those hungry for more of the same bluesy Monster Magnet fuzz we’ve become accustomed to, and realistically the rest of the album should too, but it’s the likes of ‘More Than You’ll Ever Know’, ‘Destroyer’ and ‘Anyway’ that really impress, following a less beaten path to greater rewards, while closer ‘Window Pain’ bridges the gap between past and present by perfecting blending the drawl of Sabbath’s ‘Planet Caravan’ with the power of Soundgarden’s ‘Limo Wreck’. Some may argue that 90s grunge influence has been there all along, and perhaps they’re right, but if you’ve never seen it you’ll be amazed how hard it hits, making this a uniquely brilliant proposition – the type of album that forces you to reassess an entire back catalogue you already thought you knew.

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Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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