Earlier this year I kept moaning to people about the troubles I’ve had finding good non-instrumental electronic music. Someone with powers must have heard me, because the last couple of months I’ve gotten hold of a handful of great albums, very different from each other, but each containing a large part of what I’ve been missing: Sophie Rimheden’s “Hi-fi”, Peaches’ “Fatherfucker”, Coil’s “Live Four” and Fat Truckers’ eponymous debut album.
While Fat Truckers may lack the fantastic inventiveness of Sophie Rimheden and the soulprobing beauty of Coil, theirs is still the album I play the most of the ones mentioned. Fat Truckers are tasteless and silly, and if you just look at the surface they may even appear to be about as bright as Beavis & Butthead. In fact, it’s exactly this that turns them into the closest to an electro Ramones I’ve ever heard, in the process proving that there’s probably a good deal of thought behind everything they do. I don’t know any other band that could make the two words “teenage daughter”, in the song with the same name, sound like the most brilliant lyrics ever, much similar to what the Ramones did in a song like “Beat on the Brat”.
They do know how to write “fuller” songs as well , though (even if “Teenage Daughter” is the standout track on the album, and one I’d gladly pay the price of an album for on its own). “Superbike” has an excellent instrumental intro, and when the vocals kick in after a few minutes it shifts into an even higher gear. “Anorexic Robot” and “Lock & Load” are the most obvious hits, with killer choruses and splendid rhythms. And “Ron Is Back” has got wonderfully fuzzy, primitive synth lines, underlining its sick atmosphere.
Fat Truckers’ sound is one of rusty old synthesizers and mouldy samplers. They sound like a cranky Fad Gadget, or like The Normal’s “Warm Leatherette” with a couple of added melodies. Or just like three blokes from Sheffield who have made the best album of the year.