Satanic Panic (Pavement)
by Martin Popoff
Third record for Sweden’s Transport League, who’ve turned in an engaging pastiche of crossover ironies, evolving from their post-B-Thong existence as more of a straight stoner rock thing, now courting new Metallica, heavy Clutch, hints of hardcore, hints of retro-punk re: Hellacopters, all anchored by cool shouty vocals and a sense of grinding metal groove that permeates each offered velocity. And that’s the key, Transport League offering many metal make-ups, sounding like spiffy, semi-experimental Entombed, somewhere between Same Difference and Wolverine Blues, an interesting proposition on paper and, as Transport League proves, successfully executable. What makes it work is the straight production, a clean mix that lets the band’s stop-and-start dynamics project through each hooky bass-buzzed gutcheck. The retro, however, remains, perhaps that reference to Clutch ringing most true, Transport League churning an oddly American sort of stoner rock, more authentically ’70s than Fu Manchu, arcane and note-dense like the Clutch boys. Sum total: more percussive and immediate; in a word, harder.
(PO Box 50550 Phoenix, AZ 85076)