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July 18, 2024

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Fu Manchu
Start The Machine (DRT)

By: Mike SOS

Fu Manchu sound a lot darker this time around, as the mammoth grooves of California's long-running underground rock kings never sounded this brooding or angry. The menacing stomp of the late '80s West Coast punk tinged "I Can't Hear You" and the spacious yet chilling instrumental "Out to Sea" lack the sunshine grooves Bob Balch and Scott Hill usually deliver, but it does the band properly, showing a side to the quartet never exposed. Enhanced with a grittier tone and a chip on its shoulder, Start The Machine is a 12-track joyride through the desert at dusk, laden with the big hooks and smoking grooves you'd expect from Fu Manchu, but with tons more twists and turns.
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