If all the bands in Cardiff were children in school, Truckers of Husk would be the spotty maths geek in the corner with unusual shoes. Stalwarts of the Cardiff scene, famously formed from the ashes of West Walian weirdos Jarcrew, Truckers have plotted a course on isometric paper through the hinterlands of the mainstream flirtation with math rock to previously uncharted territory, now all their own. Their music is a looped spasm of television static, felt pen guitars and waterfall drums. Electric epilepsy. Served up in downright attractive packaging.
Truckers have just released their first full length album on Cardiff tastemakers Shape Records. “Accelerated Learning” is 11 tracks of mostly instrumental broken stained glass, and the next logical step following the release of the “Physical Education” EP and hipster-bait artifact “Awesome Tapes From Africa”, initially a cassette only release.
The bands live shows seemingly always result in glowing report cards, enthusiastic story swapping of the night before a now standard response among the local faithful. Their set at Swn was especially well-received, the band arguably the highlight of the Shape stage; no mean feat given the calibre of their label mates (H Hawkline, Sweet Baboo).
Of course, not much of this is news to long standing Cardiff music fans. Just like the maths geek in school, the band has earned a degree of reverence from the locals, granted their own microcosm in which to operate, appreciably independent of their contemporaries. They are one of those bands that manage to construct a world all their own, and whilst it’s one you can enter into at any time (the Truckers bandcamp is a good place to start), you might start to wish you had a guide.
Part of the appeal of the band is the complexity of their material. Their stock in trade – difficult instrumentals – might unseat the uninitiated, but then they’ll roll out a piece of vocal pop, such as “Dear Malcolm Sullivan I Hope You’re Alive?” (one of this month’s free downloads), which, whilst still churning and complicated under the bonnet, is superficially accessible. This extra dimension elevates Truckers of Husk above the bloated corridor of other bands who know how to use scientific calculators and puts them squarely in line for a prefect badge, if only they wanted one.
Accelerated Learning is out now on Shape Records, and is available from bandcamp. MH