Truckfighters, Sweden’s finest fuzz-rock band, somehow make the desert/ stoner rock sound ‘fun’ when plenty of their equals are far too serious and intense. Being the Gravity X ‘Finish to Start’ world tour, it wasn’t hard to predict the setlist for the evening. Gravity X, their first (and most successful album) turns 15 this year.
The Prince Bandroom is the perfect sized venue for this type of show. Why the Prince is so under-utilized these days for rock music, I will never know. The merch stand was busy well before the main act took the stage. A great indicator of the excitement levels of this mostly male, almost sold-out crowd.
Founding members Niklas ‘Dango’ Källgren (Guitar) and Oskar ‘Ozo’ Cedermalm (Bass and Vocals) announced a long hiatus in February 2018. Back for this world tour, they introduced Johan ‘Toro’ Marberg as the third member of the group, the latest in a long line of drummers.
Boom. The Truckfighters hit the stage with the last track on the album, ‘A. Zapruder’. It was the perfect opening. The impact was instantly hard, heavy and fast.
From the moment Dango removed his jumper in the second song ‘In search of’, it was showtime. It is hard to take your eyes off Dango. The faces he pulls are hilarious. His air jumps were all executed without missing a note. His enthusiasm is nothing but addictive. Onlookers loved every second of it. To even further excite us all, Dango made his way into the audience mid-song, with some helpful folk keeping his guitar lead above their heads the whole way.
Who says Melbourne crowds don’t look after their musicians? He even stopped for a well-earned Melbourne Bitter while hammering out some massive riffs. Gold.
Somehow, the huge sound became more thunderous during ‘Gweedo Weedo’. Ozo’s basslines carry much of the sound the band is famous for. Played almost like a fuzzed-out rhythm guitar, his bass makes your insides shake. For a three-piece, their sound is impressive. The vocals were lost a little in the mix – but it didn’t really seem to matter.
The band made the transition from super-heavy riffs to more mellow noodling and back again throughout nearly every song. Their switches in intensity were a highlight. You can tell that they love their first album. One would think they could become sick and tired of playing the same setlist for an entire world tour. Not tonight. Australia is lucky enough to score seven shows for this leg of the tour. They began with a long run of shows in Europe during the second half of 2019, Following Australia, Truckfighters are off to the United States in February, then back to Eastern Europe.
The first song on their Gravity X album, but final for the main set, ‘Desert Cruiser’, was met with a huge roar from the audience when the opening million-dollar riff rang out. Let’s face it, the tune rocks. It rocks hard. Their biggest single made them famous and continues to excite anyone that witnesses them perform it live. After a short encore, the group members returned to the dancefloor after the show to meet their fans who hung around. An indication that they love what they do and are extremely appreciative of the people who are dedicated fans after all these years.