Fu Manchu – The Return Of Tomorrow Review

The Fu Manchu Experience: A Journey Through Doom, Psych, and Blues...

Stoner

At The Dojo Records

Release Date – June 14th 2024

 

Line Up:

Scott Hill – Vocals/Guitar

Bob Balch – Guitar

Brad Davis – Bass

Scott Reeder – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1 – Dehumanize

2 – Loch Ness Wrecking Machine

3 – Hands Of The Zodiac

4 – Haze Of The Hides

5 – Roads Of The Lonely

6 – (Time Is) Pulling You Under

7 – Destroyin’ Light

8 – Lifetime Waiting

9 – Solar Baptized

10 – What I Need

11 – The Return Of Tomorrow

12 – Liquify

13 – High Tide

 

 

I was intrigued to discover that Fu Manchu originally started as a punk band named Virulence in 1985. However, they quickly transitioned into the stoner rock legends they are today. While the band has undergone several lineup changes, singer and guitarist Scott Hill has remained a constant presence.

Their music is characterized by an abundance of fuzzy guitar tones, an extraordinarily deep bass reminiscent of the Marianas Trench, and powerful, swinging rhythms. This signature sound is immediately apparent in the opening track, “Dehumanize,” where Hill’s natural, clean vocal style seamlessly complements the music, and guitarist Bob Balch delivers numerous Iommi-like fills, riffs, and leads.

Drummer Scott Reeder’s lazy, swinging beat initiates “Destroyin’ Light,” with stop-start guitar riffs leading into a monumental chorus. Balch’s intricate guitar work introduces “Lifetime Waiting” under Hill’s spoken word, before the band launches into another groove that compels the listener to nod along. Davis delivers yet another solid bassline, followed by crashing guitar power chords. This track is dark and atmospheric, featuring synths buzzing between the stomping riffs and rhythms.

“Loch Ness Wrecking Machine” maintains a relatively simple structure and retains some punk influences, but the band returns to their signature stoner groove in “Hands of the Zodiac,” driven by the massive bass lines of Brad Davis. This track’s bass lines shook my house to its foundations. “Haze the Hides” begins with a powerful bass intro, followed by guitars grinding in a doomy fashion, transitioning into the power boogie of “Roads of the Lonely” and the rapid rock ‘n’ roll of “(Time Is) Pulling You Under.”

“What I Need” introduces a serious doom/psych vibe before the massive open chords of “Return to Tomorrow” settle into a stoner groove, transitioning seamlessly into the ZZ Top-inspired blues of “Liquify.” The album concludes with the even bluesier, psych instrumental “High Tide.”

This is an outstanding record, created by musicians who are clearly masters of their craft and have nothing to prove. It is written and performed purely for the joy of making music, which is why Fu Manchu is so highly regarded not only in the stoner rock community but also in the broader metal world.

 

Written by: Smudge

Ratings: 9/10

 

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