Review Rewind: The Trucks-The Trucks

1,405. that’s how many local recordings have been reviewed in What’s Up! over the last 15 years. Some good, some not so good, all offering something to the local scene and in these pages. A review was and will always be a band’s chance to get some press and show folks what they are doing. If a band lives around here, or on a local label, we review it and have never turned anyone away if they met one of those qualifications. Among the recordings reviewed, a few really stood out for one reason or another – it might have been how good it was or the impact it had on the scene or the statement at that time. This issue, we re-reviewed 15 of our favorite records over the last 15 years (and included a blurb from the original review) and talked not just about the music, but why the recording is important in the music scene’s history. Every one of these recordings should be on your iTunes, find ‘em, listen to ‘em, love ‘em. We do.

October 2006: “With successful lyrics like “so you think that we’ll make out/in that piece of shit car you’re driving/when you can’t even get it up into first/let alone into my driveway, baby” off as cute-sweet eve- the album perfectly mixes a provocative badass brand of sex-appeal with girlish amusement that comes off very fresh.” –Stephanie Ashton


This thirteen-track recording is a workhorse- danceable, tongue in cheek, stimulating. The songs run a range of themes and emotion, and every one has been etched in my brain/heart/feet for years.

The spring of my second year at Western, Peter Maclean pressed a pair of headphones into my ears and tapped ‘play’ on his I-pod, saying, “You have to hear this.” The song was Why The? and Peter was right- I did have to hear it.  He told me some story about a vegan partner and a vow of neither “meat nor meat curtains” and my baby feminist brain was wowed.  I bought The Trucks that week, and it’s been on constant rotation since.  In 2006, I was tiny. I was beginning to believe that feminism was a valid thing, that maybe I was worth more to myself alone than I would be in a marriage right out of college, that my voice could be for more than teaching Sunday school. When I heard The Trucks, it was an invaluable connection. The fact that there were women where I lived making this music- honest, weird, no apologies music that revealed themselves and was valid and recognized on a national level was important. Then, the songs I kept close were the first four songs of the album- Introduction- real truths about real people that lessened the loneliness, Titties- smart, danceable, derisive- the lyrics are one of my favorite primers on how to talk about getting what you want out of sex.  Zombie- duh! Zombies! Dancing! Shattered- a perfect song in every aspect- jaunty keys, layered vocals, driving percussion and bass.  These songs have pluck and spine.

Now, I am a much different person than my 2006 self. The Trucks, though, is still perfect. I’ve covered their songs, looked to them for inspiration when writing my own, and think this album is amazing. I am impressed with the fearlessness of these lyrics, especially in songs like Messages. The simplicity of so many tracks is genius and difficult to emulate. I was at Cap’s this winter, and it was full of college- everyone young and bright-eyed. Someone put “Shattered” on the jukebox and my old self looked around in wonder as everyone in the bar sang along. That’s a testament to the strength of The Trucks. Their songs carry and unite with a quick power that is immeasurable.

-Amy Gibson