Saturday 27 January 2018

FU MANCHU - Clone Of The Universe (Album Review)

Release date: 9th February 2018. Label: At The Dojo Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Clone Of The Universe – Tracklisting

1. "Intelligent Worship" (3:08)
2. "(I’ve Been) Hexed" (2:48)
3. "Don’t Panic" (2:05)
4. "Slower Than Light" (3:26)
5. "Nowhere Left to Hide" (4:19)
6. "Clone of the Universe" (2:58)
7. "IL Mostro Atomico" (18:08)


Scott Hill, Brad Davis, Bob Balch, Scott Reeder


Greetings All,

This February Fuzzed-out stoner rock stalwarts Fu Manchu will unleash their 12th album Clone of the Universe upon us all. The album treads the same familiar territory the band has rather deeply carved their name into over the past 20+ years. Clone of the Universe is 7 absolutely killer tracks of trademark fuzz filled heaviness. Fu Manchu has consistently played to their strengths on this album. While the album is rocking and fun on one hand it is a little dark and pessimistic in spots, kind of like a good monster movie. The record hits on all the sweet spots of classic Fu Manchu, astral planes, monsters, speed and a little bit of paranoia (not sure what would be causing that…..)
To the songs..

The album kicks off with Intelligent Worship which is the quintessential Fu Manchu style opening track. You immediately get smacked in the face with fuzz that doesn’t let up through the scuzzy, wah heavy solos it brings. There are elements of the song that reminded of Helmet’s Unsung from way back in the day.

(I’ve been) Hexed comes hard with an almost NWOBHM dual guitar intro and shows the first inklings of the darker aspects alluded to earlier. Don’t Panic is an up tempo jam with some more killer guitar work. Slower Than Light lurches in with a big bass intro and somewhat slower tempo that leads into breakdown that is heavy on the flanger before it kicks in with a break neck high speed ending.

The most ominous song on the album is Nowhere Left to Hide which continues the slower tempo of the last track and fully showcases the darker and more ominous tones of the album. The title track, Clone of the Universe, follows next. It kicks off with an ultra-heavy start and there exists a more punk inspired feel to this jam.

The album closes with an absolute beast, the monstrous and plodding, IL Mostro Atomico. This is a lengthy, mostly instrumental juggernaut that unleashes almost the whole arsenal from Fu Manchu’s bag of tricks. The song features a slew of tempo changes showcasing the band’s chops with fuzzy, phased out heavy ass grooves.

Any die hard Fu Manchu fan is going to dig heavily on this album. It is undoubtedly their best record in a while and hits all the right notes that made California Crossing, King of the Road, and the Action is Go such classics. Dig heavily on Clone of the Universe, you will not be disappointed.

- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey

Clone Of The Universe will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via At TheDojo Records from February 09th 2018.