Fu Manchu – Signs Of Infinite Power
Century Media, 2009
California’s long-running stoner rock kings Fu Manchu continue down their patented road of fuzz and distortion with a solid release that offers no surprises. This consistency is both a blessing and a curse for this venerable band. The first time I heard In Search Of… way back in 1996, its sheer heaviness and homage to 70’s rock was a revelation. There’s no band that has perfected this style better than Fu Manchu, other than the long-defunct Kyuss. With Signs Of Infinite Power, Fu Manchu’s tenth album, the limits of this style are unfortunately apparent. This is a very good album, however, it’s hard for me to be as excited about Fu Manchu as I once was. The band has lost none of its trademark sound, and even sounds great on “El Busta”, “Gargantuan March”, and the title track, the best songs on the album. The majority of the record plods through as you would otherwise expect. This is the issue – Signs Of Infinite Power is not a bad album by any stretch, but Fu Manchu seems to be caught in a creative trap that offers too little for long-time fans of the band. If expectations are held in check, Signs Of Infinite Power is a worthy addition to the Fu Manchu catalog, however, if you’re hoping for a fresh twist on stoner rock you won’t find it here. Their live show never disappoints, so get down to the Triple Rock tonight if you can!
Fu Manchu performs Sunday, September 12 with support from Black Tusk and The Rockford Mules at the Triple Rock Social Club in Minneapolis.