Still, King of the Road is nothing fancy, nothing that strays too far from previous albums. But Fu Manchu isn't about reinventing the wheel. Hell, they couldn't invent the wheel. They're a band of hunter-gatherers armed with crude tube amps and crusty racks of flange and wah-wah pedals who stalk the pre-punk primeval forests of rock and roll's Stoner Age, hunting the greatest prey of all: Tyrannosaurus riffs, the mighty beast with the walnut-sized brain whose meaty frame provides sustenance for hordes of denim-clad Cro-Magnon rockers everywhere. The grim truth for Fu Manchu is that if they can't bag enough burly T. riffs, they'll soon be extinct, like Nazareth or Uriah Heep. Fortunately, King of the Road is a happy hunting ground of beefy, bong-rattling RAWK AND ROLLLLL. Scott Hill has penned 10 "new" odes to muscle cars, partyin' and, uh, custom vans, dude.
OK, so the lyrics are as simpleminded as ever, but who cares? "No shirt, no shoes, NO DICE!" might be a pretty lame chorus, but after a couple of keg-stands it becomes high-school smoking-lounge poetry. "Blue Tile Fever" may lack the subtle turns of phrase found in Tom Waits' body of work, but Tom never rocked a cowbell with such savage bravado.
Slip into your old jean jacket, squeeze that beaded headband around your temples and turn up the volume on the greatest unfrozen-caveman-rock album of the century. Nebula, the ball is in your court.