The last time I saw Fu Manchu (at the long-since demolished Nexus in Southampton), I staggered out of the gig dehydrated and missing the mid-range in my hearing. It took two days for my ears to properly come back online, and was genuinely quite worrying. On the basis of their latest album, Gigantoid, it’s fair to say that seeing them now would provoke a similar outcome.
Fu Manchu have come a long way over the years, but they’ve never really changed their sound; here we have the familiar thumping drums, the buzzy guitars and monolithic bass lines, coupled with the almost beat poetry delivery of Scott Hill’s vocals. And its wonderful.
The subject of the lyrics are as varied as ever, ranging from getting high to, er, getting high. Fu Manchu have taken the stoner label absolutely to heart, and rolled with it. I mean, how can ‘Dimension Shifter’, ‘Anxiety Reducer’ and ‘Triplanetary’ be about anything else?
Gigantoid isn’t an album with great depth, nor is it one that takes you on a journey, but it is immense fun. Living in a world full of angsty, earnest musicians trying to make angsty, earnest music, it’s refreshing to listen to an album that just makes you want to jump around or drive fast.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to dig out some earplugs and check out when they’re next in the UK.