Maneuvers by SasquatchRelease date: June 20, 2017
Label: Mad Oak Records
Never a band to hold back when it comes to the almighty call of heavy rock, Sasquatch have now returned with their fifth, and possibly best album yet. Full of supercharged riffs and bludgeoning rhythms, they stand aside from much of the stoner rock crowd with songs which sound as if they have been hewn from the very rock itself but then turned up to 11 with a mighty dose of big-ness. Everything Sasquatch do is big, like great rock music should be.
They also do a fine line in melodies as the cascading chorus of ‘More Than You’ll Ever Be’ plays out over the phased guitars, bringing a neat psychedelic edge to the granite like riffs. It’s that marriage which really brings the album to life and makes it so much more than just another stoner band. In fact, it would be quite an insult to call them just that as there is so much more on offer. Check out a song like ‘Bringing Me Down’ where they bring match the crunch of the guitars with a life-affirming vocal, before a quick chord change brings in a downbeat chorus.
There’s plenty of sludge here too as ‘Destroyer’ proves, and interestingly its songs like these that provide a frantic respite from the more calculated fare such as ‘Drown All The Evidence’ or ‘Just Couldn’t Stand The Weather’, two songs which demand you to listen carefully as amongst the noise are some very interesting treats. The organ drawl of the latter bringing to mind Jon Lord at his peak whilst Drown re-jigs ‘War Pigs’ for the 21st Century with its forbidding march before a huge psychedelic riff opens it out into an epic track which wouldn’t be far removed from anything Chris Cornell would have touched. It’s that sense of hugeness which pervades through every crack of this album that hammers home what a special band Sasquatch are.
Where a lot of bands of this ilk struggle to progress through their careers, Sasquatch seem to have grown out of their early phase into something of a behemoth. They almost sound old fashioned now and the album does have a slight 90’s feel to it, but that’s no fault of their own. In fact, it’s something of a pleasure to hear a production really open up each requisite part of the band as all too often it all gets lost in a mire of sludge. By letting the music breathe, Sasquatch may have lost some primal underground feel, but gain a much more powerful sound. Maneuvers may well find itself at hovering in a few end of year lists, especially amongst rock fans and for that we can be glad. It’s about time we had a new major heavy rock band to contend with and Sasquatch may just tick all the boxes.