(Signed by Force)

01. Whiteout
02. Fogcutter
03. Seadawg
04. Capsized
05. Four Points
06. Iron Clad
07. Last Leg
08. Followed By Thunder

RATING: 5.5/10

Reading the Canadian press statements on Windsor's FIFTYWATTHEAD you would think that they are in fact the second coming of Jesus Christ. Calm down, "Fogcutter" has got a lot of juicy guitar riff wreckage going on, but let's not get carried away here. Much of what is heard on the album is listenable, enjoyable even, yet not all that memorable.

Generally speaking, I like the no-bullshit style with a confrontational message of "crank up the amps, strap on a guitar, and shut the fuck up" heard on albums like "Fogcutter". To that end, there is nothing patently wrong or putridly foul about the disc. Big, fat riffs and grooves that are ridden for all their worth work relatively well through the first several songs, especially if you consider that "Fogcutter" is best enjoyed if it is viewed as more of an instrumental album, considering the limited use of rough hewn vocals. The Amphetamine Reptile noise scathes and early MASTODON power jams are there, as is a bit of early HELMET (check out the main riff to "Capsized"). And it does the trick for the first three or four songs, particularly the first two ("Whiteout" and the title track). After that though, song drag becomes an issue and you start to have thoughts like "Ok, I get it now, let's move on".

Here again, one hates to be overly critical, especially since when consumed at full volume, the guitar fire and thundering rhythms come at you with convincing force, most of the time anyway. So "Fogcutter" is one of those decent, but not particularly moving, albums. It is a good example where an EP would have made a much greater impact by not allowing the listener to ponder where FIFTYWATTHEAD was going with all of this fuzz and buzz.


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