You might think that some sort of sound collision between the diesel-fuelled suzz of Fu Manchu and the grunge sulk of Sonic Youth would result in something akin to The Foo Fighters. It doesn’t. It ends up as Nebula. Unsurprisingly, Charged was original put out by the legendary Sub Pop label, back in 2001, and exclusively features ex-Fu Manchu members If some of the slightly older listeners among you find the track Giant somewhat familiar, you may recognise it from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4, from 2002.
This remastered re-release from the Heavy Psych Sounds label has tidied up the over all sound, and given it a bit more punch. The album does a great job of tapping into the grass roots of hard rock, with shades of Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Semi-acoustic tracks scattered throughout may sound a little more like they take cues from music which influenced Beck or Lenny Kravitz, but they remain securely tethered to their earthy roots. Throughout, the bass lines which drive the music have a very British, solid thump, heard in the likes of Deep Purple. It’s the bourbon and weed slur in the guitar and vocal which pastes on the Americana.
Despite being chiseled from the remnants of a certain age, both sides of the Atlantic, these songs have stood the test of time. The current re-revival in suzz and psych styles might have greased the wheels, but even without that, I think it would stand alone as still relevant. Not so much anything new to hear, but ultimately a fun listen which should soothe the savage soul.