Review: Fu Manchu


Fu Manchu
“California Crossing”
(Mammoth Records)

Consistently achieving their vision of pure rock, Fu Manchu returns with their 7th (!) full length of dirt on the gears, blood on the grill rock and roll.  Four count riff rock done by masters of the form.  A laid back easiness flows from the Fu, both from singer Scott Hill’s lazy whine and the dual guitar jams of Hill and guitarist Bob Balch.  High-energy rock that’s achieved neither from speed or aggression, more from an attitude of all things a-rockin’.  AC/DC knew this,  as well as Black Sabbath.  Take those two bands and wrap them into some surfer/stoner summer in ’77 and you’ve got Fu Manchu.  While entirely regurgitating their basic riff rock interpretations on the form, they are the shining example of how attitude and general sound can supersede the actual riffs being played to achieve that intangible quality of ‘rock.’  It’s the dividing line between copy-cat imitators and those who pay tribute through their sound.  Fu Manchu is among the latter,  meaning you can easily find the blueprint these guys follow in many bands–it’s just that many bands can’t do it half as well.  Now onto this release:  A little less fuzzy, a little less concerned with tempo than previous works.  What it still does, is rock–hard and well.  No frills and uncomplicated, easy to swallow and easy to crank rod songs, which is basically a review of every album the Fu Manchu crew have ever released.  And does it ever get boring?  Hell no,  good rock never does.  And this is good rock, EVERY frickin song here.  Seriously, I kid you not.