Sunday, January 3, 2010

Signs Of Infinite Power

For everything is a first time, like a Fu Manchu post at this blog.
Fu Manchu from California, U.S.A. is one of the greatest Stoner Rock bands. They've made a lot of great albums and Signs Of Infinite Power is their most recent one. And it's another great album. What can I say more. Fu Manchu is Fu Manchu, period! Enjoy!

At this point, Fu Manchu is pretty much critic-proof. They've already taken a shot at mainstream accessibility (California Crossing), they've put their generic, uninspired album (Start the Machine) behind them, and they've knocked out a comeback album (We Must Obey). Now they're in their comfort zone, doing what they do best.

Mind, you, it would be a mistake to confuse that with complacency. The old dog may not be performing any new tricks on Signs of Infinite Power, their eleventh album in a 20-year career and first for Century Media Records, but he's still got all of his teeth and plenty of bite. Signs ten tracks are, with a couple of exceptions, classic Fu Manchu in riffs, attitude, and execution. Opener “Bionic Astronaut,” “Webfoot Witch Hat,” the title track, “Eyes x 10” and “One Step Too Far” in particular stand out as examples of the band digging deep, finding new ways of proving that nobody does SoCal fuzz rock as good as Fu Manchu. When they falter – and that's to be expected at this stage in their career - it's more of a minor stumble than an outright failure. In other words, I wouldn't point out “Against the Ground” as a highlight, but nor will I skip it when revisiting the album down the road (especially since it ends much stronger than it begins). Overall, I'd say that like 2007's We Must Obey, Signs of Infinite Power holds it own against the band's iconic early albums, ranking slightly below King of the Road, if only for a lack of a truly massive hook.

The band feels otherwise – frontman Scott Hill has said that he feels Signs of Infinite Power is their best work to date, and while that's certainly well within his right, I doubt most of the listening faithful will agree. What they will agree on is that Signs of Infinite Power is another keeper from a band that shows no signs of slowing down or, thankfully, growing up. Recommended.

(Review by John Pegoraro at

Fu Manchu - Signs Of Infinite Power (2009)

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