More Beast Than Man
In a time when trebly garage rehash and studio-glazed pop-rock dominate the airwaves, California’s Sasquatch strikes a blow for fans of old-fashioned fat-bottom heavy metal. Their self-titled debut is the same kind of straight-up stripped down Black Sabbath worship that made Soundgarden work in the 90’s. Just like the mythological beast that shares their name, Sasquatch’s sound is fuzzy, heavy, lumbering and wild. Everything about this band’s esthetic fits perfectly within their 70’s devil-worshiping, stoner rock roots. The opening track “Chemical Lady” has a solid upbeat rock groove that crushes like an anvil. “Roller” is full of sweeping vintage wah-wahs while “Believe It” utilizes a driving heavy metal gallop with muted riffing that could drill through concrete.
Vocalist/Guitarist Keith Gibbs gets the job done without burying his voice under layers of effects. His range stands out from other stoner rock groups, succumbing to neither the monotone drone or (painfully embarrassing) blatant Ozzy worship that many contemporaries in this genre rely upon. On songs like “Knuckle Down” and “Money Man,” Gibbs’s voice intertwines beautifully with the band’s superb riffing to create well-structured and well-balanced songs. “Cyrus” finds Gibbs pushing the limits of both his rock and roll enunciation and his Southern-rock drenched leads.
Sasquatch’s debut is heavier than a dump truck full of granite driving full-speed through your stereo. Samples littered throughout the album add some flavor to their bestial identity, as well as the closing track “Yetti” with the appropriate line “look into my blood-red eyes / now you are hypnotized.” Fans of High on Fire, Fu Man Chu and Sugartooth take note – there’s a new animal on the loose!