Reviews : Albums : Core, "The Hustle is On"

Core, "The Hustle is On"

Core's debut, The Hustle is On, is an excellent example of what good stoner-rock should be. The trio stays safely within the limits of the genre's expected sound, but pushes its originality through good songwriting, musicianship and variation. The result is a very listenable, jam-oriented album with plenty of chilled-out instrumentals and infectious hooks. Most notably is the band's ability to incorporate an undeniable Jimi Hendrix guitar sound in many of the juicier cuts.

The Hustle is On kicks off with "The Monolith Problem," an instantly cool, grungy number that emphasizes Core's Hendrix influence. "Supernumber" follows with heavy distortion, so much so that the vocals are muffled, giving the song a textured, strange quality. The fourth cut, "Fleetwood," has a killer chorus and a faster, punk beat, while the closer, "Blues for Gus (AuH2O)" is a 13-minute, mellow jam session - an appropriate conclusion. Other tracks worthy of mention are "Sarah's Curious Accident," "Edge City" for its blatant Jimi worship, and the numerous instrumental tracks that help space-out the album, and surely the listener.

This album's packaging is a bit sparse, with only a single fold in the inlay card, but with the excellent acid/shroom influenced artwork, and the overall length and quality of the disc, one shouldn't complain. My only gripe is that though the disc is both consistent and well done, there is much less urgency and sophistication in the music than in some of the aforementioned veteran acts. This album would be excellent driving, smoking, or just plain chillin' music, but there is not enough intensity for it to be the listener's sole focus. This is merely my personal preference, so disregarding what I just said, if you find a hankering for high-octane, relatively up-beat, well played stoner rock that is sure to make you wish you had a fat blunt, Core's new album The Hustle is On will likely sate the craving.

Standout Tracks

   Edge City
   The Monolith Problem

Peter Johnston