FU MANCHU- We Must Obey (Liquor And Poker Music)
Surf's up once again in sunny Southern California as the masters of beers, bongs, and beaches FU MANCHU are back with a return to the riffs on their new record We Must Obey
. Perhaps by that they mean obeying the desires of their remaining hardcore fanbase, the ones who hadn't yet abandoned them following a shift away from their stoner desert rock roots to a poppier and more commercial sound on the last two albums. FU MANCHU have always had more of a punkish leaning, but not since their seminal King Of The Road
album have they been as no-bullshit heavy as on We Must Obey
. The sound here is overall angrier, dirtier, and more focused than just about anything they've put out before, somewhat of a departure in fact from the style of desert punk rock they helped pioneer. Laid-back jams about boogie vans and outer space are not to be found here, though thankfully the semi-aggression is tempered by their infectious catchiness and a few songs that do recall classic FU. Some bands make albums that are about a particular place and time; FU MANCHU have made a career out of it, and We Must Obey
is a solid addition to the discography.
Right off the bat it's evident that these guys aren't fooling around, as the first two songs "Between The Lines" and "Didn't Really Try" drive up the adrenaline level immediately. The unrealistically catchy "Hung Out To Dry" and the up-tempo "Knew It All Along" could easily be radio hits, each boasting memorable choruses and killer grooves. "Lesson" is pure stoner rock jam, with an awesome guitar solo to open the song and a trippy verse section backed by a bitchin bassline. A real treat is a sweet cover of THE CARS' "Moving In Stereo", definitely sounds like it was meant to be done in this way. However the gem of We Must Obey
is the oddly-titled "Sensei Vs. Sensei", opening with a neat Hawaiian-like guitar intro before crashing down like a comet. Finally they top things off with the fun headbanger "Shake it Loose" and the equally romping title track.
We Must Obey
mixes the kind of goofy fun one would expect from a FU MANCHU album with a direction and focus that gives it a real kick. Righteous.