Album Review | No Nonsense Rock From Sonic Fuel

Knoxville, Tennessee hard rockers Sonic Fuel deliver their no-nonsense brand of guitar-focused, monster riff rock music that’s sure to be right at home with loyal listeners. Unforgettable chorus hooks and excellent guitar work unite to lead you on a trip of boisterous and fun-loving antics. Experimentalism and niche fusions of all sorts of seemingly unrelated genres are ubiquitous these days, but Sonic Fuel are here to show new audiences just how dynamic and rich old school rock and metal can be.

Built on a foundation of classic rock with hints of ’90s and psychedelia popping in is the opener, ‘Good Things’. The chorus makes abundant use of vocalist David Hales’ soaring tones, culminating in a powerful, feelgood vibe that’s hard to ignore. Next is ‘Wild and Free’ which takes off slowly with a creeping bass and spare percussion before an explosion of colour via the wall-of-sound fuzz guitars and bursting vocal lines. Wildly entertaining and a definite highlight.

Throughout the meat of the album, things do venture into other genres and styles somewhat, but Sonic Fuel’s signature is to wrap up everything in a rock n’ roll blanket. Even on the more intimate ‘I Will Rise’, with its themes of loss and poppier tones, the grit and attitude are still there.

Some albums tend to chill out as the tracks roll on and the end is near, but not with Sonic Fuel. Two cuts wrap it up—’Tune In’ and ‘Scream’. Big fat guitars dominate the former along with tongue-in-cheek lyrics about taboo content reminiscent of certain infamous tunes by Zeppelin, AC/DC, and a few others. The latter is basically a classic ’80s metal stomper with extreme finesse in its guitar work and impossible-to-resist catchiness. Neither lets up with the energy and yet nothing sounds stale or contrived either.

Sonic Fuel is simply one of those records that leaves you hungry for more. It’s an unabashedly balls-to-the-wall affair with rock-solid musicianship and a real adoration for the music that inspired it. One to remember.