It happens during â€œMonumentâ€ that Gas Huffer closely parallels The Vandals, using the same vocal inflection and repetitious guitar riffs to get their point across. However, â€œMonumentâ€ is not a cut and dry copy of The Vandals, but rather has Gas Huffer taking up the rockabilly cause (Tiger Army, Nekromantix) for their other influence. Changing up again for their â€œAnother Wafer, Pleaseâ€ Gas Huffer begin to take on the heavy synthesizers of the sixties, all while moving into an interesting-sounding surf riff. Gas Hufferâ€™s strongest suit may not be in a cohesive sound, but rather their ability to come up time and time again with differing genres and sounds to please their listeners with.
Also in Gas Hufferâ€™s favor during â€œLemonade For Vampiresâ€ is the fact that they do not need to take themselves seriously; â€œKingdom Of The Sunâ€ has enough goofiness attached to the serious musicianship that one has to do a double-take and assure themselves they are not listening to a Weird Al recording. â€œCanadian Vistasâ€ has the same type of mixed-styles present during its runtime, but the insinuation of a Misfits-like â€œgothâ€ atmosphere (the haunting vocals during the breakdown) and the slow, definitive vocals really makes the track into a revamped version of Black Sabbathâ€™s classic â€œWar Pigsâ€. Any cohesion the disc might have had in the first half of â€œLemonade For Vampiresâ€ disappears during the spastic, amazing â€œAll Naturalâ€.
â€œAll Naturalâ€ has a country/native sound to it that does not fit to an easily dissectible time signature. However, it is during this breakdown that the genius of Gas Huffer really can be shown; the track is near six minutes, a length of time that seems a mere fraction when one considers the myriad of differences present. The mastering on this disc is perfect, allowing the rich instrumentation of Gas Huffer to shine through without distancing the listener in any way from the band. When Mattâ€™s vocals move into the half sing-songy vocals previously mentioned on â€œAll Naturalâ€, one can honestly create an image of a crazy person describing those things in their mindâ€™s eye. The ambitious length of the disc (over fifty minutes) may be a little long for the short attention spans of punk fans, but this allows for individuals to continually find new things about the band and their work on this disc. There might be a heavy reliance on bar chords during â€œLemonade For Vampiresâ€, but the veteran Huffers ensure that these riffs are cut in with intense arrangements at every corner.
Top Tracks: Termite Thermometer, All Natural
Gas Huffer â€“ Lemonade For Vampires / 2005 Estrus / 13 Tracks / http://www.estrus.com / Reviewed 11 August 2005