Fu Manchu

Exclaim! - - REVIEWS - MATTHEW RITCHIE

Clone of the Uni­verse

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia stoner rock gods Fu Manchu are the mu­si­cal equiv­a­lent of a van with an in­ter­plan­e­tary dust-up painted on its side. Their Stooges-meet-Sab­bath riffs are sick as shit, and the band are ob­vi­ously hesh to death. Their lat­est al­bum, Clone of the Uni­verse, finds Fu Manchu con­tin­u­ing on their space odyssey, and for any­one who likes fuzz ped­als and Neil deGrasse Tyson, it won’t dis­ap­point: the head-bang­ing grooves are fully loaded and Scott Hill’s gui­tar work is as thick as five-year-old mo­lasses. Best of all, just when you think they’re reach­ing “been there, done that” ter­ri­tory, the band throw a curve­ball with “Il Mostro Atomico,” an 18-minute, lurch­ing, prog-in­fested sludge­fest, fea­tur­ing Rush gui­tar great Alex Life­son, that sounds like Sleep do­ing the sound­track to an episode of Bat­tlestar Galac­tica. Due to the first half’s measly run­time (half of its high oc­tane songs clock in at un­der three min­utes) and heavy as hell end­ing, lis­ten­ing to Clone of the Uni­verse feels like vis­it­ing a tapas bar with friends, only to drunk­enly ven­ture off at the end of the night to slam down a whole duck, solo (and no, that’s not a eu­phemism): it’s a jour­ney most would avoid mak­ing, but a com­pelling one for those will­ing to roll the dice and ride. (New Dam­age)

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