Gravity X

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At a time when genuine '90s desert/stoner rock is a mostly abandoned art form, leave it to a band from Sweden (where all rock & roll subgenres eventually come to roost and live forever, in timeless, hermetic preservation) like the Truckfighters to deliver an album that sounds as though it was conceived about eight years before its 2005 release date. Imagine Americans Fu Manchu, compatriots Lowrider, or Holland's Dozer and you'll immediately get the gist of Gravity X's groove-heavy brand of fuzz-rock; where mellow flights of psych and space rock frequently balance out the churning power chords that surround them (see "Gargarismo," "Momentum," and "Manhattan Project"), and extended bouts of jamming sometimes drag the action a little longer than needed ("Desert Cruiser," "Superfunk," "Gweedo-Weedo"). Not completely devoid of surprises, however, Gravity X proffers a few pleasant anomalies like "Subfloor" and its startling horn section (an idea borrowed from Dutchmen On Trial, perhaps?), the relaxing and lysergic instrumental epic "Altered State," and the ultra-punchy "Freewheelin'," which rockets us back to the future with its synth-aping guitar licks, raging riffs, and quirky finale (Spanish guitars, no less), right out of the Queens of the Stone Age new age/new wave manual. And just when you thought you would make it through this entire review without reading the word Kyuss, the band uncorks a pair thunderous desert moshers -- "In Search of (The)" and "A. Zapruder" -- as the album nears conclusion -- oh well, at least it took them this long. Even so, the Truckfighters do a good enough job with these very old tricks, that they almost sound fresh again -- maybe desert and stoner rock are ready for a comeback.

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