Sasquatch

Sasquatch

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A prototypical Small Stone band if ever there was one, California by way of Philly and Detroit's Sasquatch combine crusty riffing, driving drums, and throaty, echoey vocals into retro-rock gumbo that would do labelmates Halfway to Gone more than proud. (It would probably make them think they were staring in the mirror!) Which is to say that Sasquatch are hardly reinventing the wheel with their eponymous debut, but that doesn't mean they can't work this familiar template to their own advantage. This they do, following a quickie intro spiel about ol' Bigfoot, with a winning twosome in "Chemical Lady" and "Roller," and then topping them both with the insta-groove of "Dragonfly." This is where Sasquatch really strike upon something special, and they immediately put it to more good use with the notably hooky "Believe It." As if he knows that now they're really in business, vocalist/guitarist Keith Gibbs starts breaking free of easy comparisons with his more pronouncedly soulful performance on the Southern rock-tinged "Cracks in the Pavement," and the inspired extended soloing across the hypnotic swing of "Knuckle Down." The ensuing "Money Man" replicates the same formula, drags on a little longer still, but hardly disappoints for it, and is quickly chased by a stinging shot of highway-driving anthemy cleverly named "Boss Hog." Additional bits of cryptic, spoken word intros precede the final two tracks: the somewhat forgettable hillbilly rock of "Cyrus," and the alternately doom-slow and stoner rockin' "Yetti;" the last making for a strong, if not explosive parting shot for an album whose best moments are definitely sandwiched in the center, but tasty enough to satisfy through to the last crumb.

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