Ever wondered what would happen if you stuck Sweden’s finest fuzz Lords in a tiny, sweaty room full of cameras and apeshit fans? So many good things. So many good things happened. Truckfighters are wild beasts, undeniable and entirely unrelenting. Their live show feels a bit like a kick in the face. Resistance is futile.

Full of crusty-looking characters, the freshly renovated Ding Dong Lounge takes on all the scuzzy charm of its big brother, Cherry Bar. Cherry stalwarts Matt Sonic and the High Times fit the scene perfectly, with a groovy fuzz-rock sound fueled by bulging racks of effects pedals. Matt Sonic’s vocals spend most of the set buried under guitar, which is fine. Tonight is all about the riffs. While a few eager faces follow along with every lyric, it’s the monstrous guitar lashings at either end of the set which have every head gently banging along.

“Tonight’s show is being filmed.”

This sign is plastered all over the place, just in case you’d missed the shit-ton of video recorders crammed into every corner of the room. Truckfighters were born ready for the camera. Guitar-wielding Dango bounds onto the stage between giant ‘T’ and ‘F’ banners. He’s already shirtless. His band mates follow closely behind, and without a pause the trio rip straight into ‘Desert Cruiser.’ This song pummels. The flood-gates burst open as the bass kicks in, every Truckfighter thrashing about with all the showmanship of a hair-metal guitar god, but a thousand more fury. If the band were to deliver everything they had in a one-song show, it would be exactly this. 100% energy, 100% intensity, 100% audience satisfaction. The crowd howl an emphatic “Yeah, oh yeah!” over the chorus, returning the manic power thrust upon them. And it doesn’t let up.

As soon as Ozo has a few spare seconds away from the microphone, he’s in, amongst and on top of the crowd, flaying his wireless bass within an inch of certain death. Dango is wilder still, egging the front row on by headbanging, shouting and power-riffing directly into the upturned faces in front of him. And the fuzz assault sounds good. Guitar, bass and kick drum meld into a pounding torrent of heavy desert riffs. Ozo’s vocals soar over the top, never more impressive than at the huge chorus of ‘Monte Gargano.’ There are many set highlights, and this is one of them. With tasty selections taken from each of the band’s LPs, the top-quality fuzz just keeps coming.

The whole show seems almost ridiculous at times. While most stoner rock bands aren’t particularly audience-focused, Truckfighters commit to fulfilling every possible expectation. They’re totally over the top, but so genuine that it’s impossible to resist getting sucked right into the show. And nobody’s trying to resist. The packed house are very much along for the ride, and with Dango constantly fueling them they lap up every up every second.

The band room gets sticky, the stage-dives are numerous. By the end of ‘In Search Of,’ the band are rolling on the stage in pools of sweat and their own instruments. Truckfighters have devastated Ding Dong Lounge. My ears will never be the same, and every other live band has a lot to live up to.
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