Grimskunk Fires Under the Road

Eventually the mighty must fall. Grimskunk did and still haven’t recovered. Years after the abomination that was their Seventh Wave album, Quebecois punk/metal hybrid Grimskunk falter. Fires Under the Road just doesn’t cut it. Sure it’s catchy and moderately intricate at times, retaining that unmistakable eeriness that encapsulated the majority of the band’s previous albums. And the almost orchestral quality of their arrangements is stunning but the songs still feel lacking. An overall air of deflation and half-assed trying is inescapable, almost as if they’re battling the inner demons of either creating a radio single and finally cashing in or maintaining their obscurity and sticking with the quirky polka metal. It makes for a bumpy road with little of the fire referenced. Songs such as "Wakin’ and Bakin’” are so sickly saccharine, they evoke comparison to Smash Mouth, while others allude to beefier mosh-inducing chugs but still aren’t instantly gripping. There’s not enough conviction to fully capture the listener, relegating this to better than Seventh Wave but not quite back to the lofty complexity and impressiveness of their eponymous masterpiece. (Indica)