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Fu Manchu - We Must Obey

Published Feb. 28 2007

=Staff's pick

We Must Obey
Knew It All Along*
Let Me Out
Hung Out To Dry*
Shake It Loose
Land Of Giants
Between The Lines*
Moving In Stereo
Didn`t Really Try
Sensei Vs. Sensei

Genre Stoner
Scott Hill
Tracks 11
Scott Hill
Runningtime 37 Min.
Bob Balch
Label Century Media
Brad Davis
Release 19 Feb. 2007
Scott Reeder
Country USA
Similar artists Kyuss, C.O.C., QOTSA

Feel the sunshine, taste the desert, California's Fu Manchu are back with their tenth studio effort We Must Obey. To describe the sound of Fu Manchu and not to draw comparisons with Kyuss and the bands that later sprung out of there is inevitable, at least for me. I haven't heard that much of Fu Manchu earlier to be honest, but isn't this heavier than usual?

Fu Manchu have the foundation with the classic Stoner sound, meaning heavy tuned down guitars laying down the riffing foundations, further you have the rhythm section that sounds to come out of Black Sabbath and to complete it all, it comes packaged with a fuzzy sound. With the drawling tempo and the parts with a sound of sludge it reminds me a lot of the current sound of Corrosion Of Conformity as well, and the vocals as well as the similarities in the guitar sound further enhance that impression. The album has it ups and downs even though I personally find it to be caught in-between for most of the time. It is as if Fu Manchu lack a bit in the idea department and it all crawls forward without the extra touch. Nevertheless, it is an album that grooves, just crank up the volume and let yourself be swept away by the heavy riffing and you have a perfect soundtrack for driving.

They could have worked more on the melodies to get rid of the Stoner-monotony they now are stuck with but there are some highlights to be found as well. Just try to resist the hooks on the riffs in Hung Out To Dry. Fu Manchu also do a cover of Moving In Stereo, originally done by The Cars. I can't recall that I have heard that one before, and if I didn't knew I it was a cover I would have thought it was a spaced-out Fu Manchu song, at least that is what they have done with it. With Between The Lines, which is somewhat a stand-out track on the album, the influence of punk/hard core sticks its face in to say hello and the faster and more aggressive approach comes out well and somewhat breaks the pattern.

To sum up We Must Obey from Fu Manchu, it lands somewhere along the line of being just another album from a Stoner band in my book. Not bad, occasionally better than average, but average is the overall grade at the end of the day.








5 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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