Genre: Heavy Rock \ Stoner Rock
Label: Entertainment One
Released: October 26th 2018
Daniel Carriere – Vocals/Guitars,
Sandy MacKinnon – Bass,
Quinn Cyrankiewicz – Guitar,
Calen Stuckel – Drums,
01. First Time
03. Die Knowing
09. Northern Town
10. Long Shot
The four piece blue-collar troubadours from Edmonton, ROYAL TUSK are steadfast champions of the majesty of kick ass riffs, meaty hooks, a thick bottom end, and loud guitars. They released the ‘Mountain’ EP in 2014; their debut full-length, ‘DealBraker’, arrived two years later. And now the band present ‘Tusk II’
Clearly, when listening to the opening track ‘First Time’, the production is top notch, blasting out of the speakers with a heavy grunge rock melodic cocktail of heavy drums and bass in a twisted grunge style, the intent has been succeeded in bringing a stadium ready rock sound.
The stonking intro of ‘Aftermath’ makes your ears perk up and opens up into an anthem of a rock call to action and has the excellent battering of drums that brings it together nicely. Whilst, ‘Die Knowing’ has a slower, raunchier beat which brings a tasty meal to your riff table full of meaty hooks and deep bass. As Daniel Carriere from the band notes “Sandy has always played the bass kind of like a guitar, like what you hear in punk records, it keeps that kind of energy going in our music”.
‘Stowaway’ opens with screaming nasty guitars and results in an intrepid journey in to grunge greatness, whilst ‘Freedom’ has the retro scent of ‘Alice In Chains’ and ‘Stone Temple Pilots’ past.
‘Reflection’ has the screaming vibes of what you want to be playing rushing along the highway on your route to new horizons and new adventures and ‘Under’ is the sort of tune that you want on replay while you have your pedal to the metal on that same freeway, bringing a more dance happy radio perfect feel to the album.
With heavy grunge coming to the fore once again with ‘Northern Town’ and the perfect finale to this Tusk II with the ‘Long Shot’, which is a wonderful thundering assault on the ears. Tusk II has great choruses with echoing vocals, heavy drumming, meaty bass lines and excellent riffs which bring interest and depth to this offering.
Royal Tusk have bought vintage grunge for the new generation sprinkled with a healthy number of rock call to action anthems, these Canadian champions of rock n roll for the modern era are a refreshing antidote to some of the self-obsessed rock bands of today.
Review by: Francijn Suermondt
SCORE: 8 out of 10