FU MANCHU delights the world yet again with another soundtrack to the summer! With KYUSS they are the undisputed masters of the genre that is Stoner Rock. While this CD takes a few spins to unveil its brilliance, it's simply another great CD to crank up loud while driving or being stoned in summer. And the title "California Crossing" is well chosen, it of course sounds like typical FU MANCHU and besides that this record is just made for driving around the area of southern California, between LA and Death Valley! Which is of course crossing Calfornia...
Every song here has that great 70's sound, with lots of SABBATH style riffs, (just not depressive sounding) that every fan knows of course. The songs are also great to sing-a-long to, especially the second and third tracks: "Hang On" and "Mongoose". The latter I wouldn't advice to sing, say while smoking one in a park, because you might get some strange looks going "The mongoose flies!" for 4 minutes! But it's a killer song for sure, one of my favourites. Title track "California Crossing" starts with an extremely cool drum roll by the great Brant Björk. After that's it's just classic FU MACHU, with cool riffs, great grooving bass guitar and fine vocals from Ian Hill. The songs from "Wiz Kid" till "Ampn" aren't as good as the songs before with it. Same ingredients, good quality, just less memorable.
"Bultaco" then is the greatest song from the album. I wouldn't know what the title means to save my life but the lyrics in are great and the way they are sung even better. It's a very rhythmic and groovy song. "Downtown In Dogtown" is probably the ultimate song on the album to sing-along-too, even with the heavy competition. And to close the album, FU MANCHU have created the brilliant instrumental "The Wasteoid"; it showcases amazing bass lines and guitar riffs, not to mention Brant Björk's insane drum solo at the end.
Having reviewed this album I also have to disagree with Joe that Stoner Rock has reached its limits and that "California Crossing" was a sub-par record. I love it and while it may take a few spins and isn't really original, I don't mind with the quality that is offered. I bought this CD in winter and I really love winter but with this CD I am really looking forward to next summer! (Online March 6, 2005)