Sasquatch is back. The last time the legendary Stoner Rock trio released a record was in June of 2017 (Maneuvers)—more than two years before Monster Riff even existed. Today, though, Sasquatch gifts the world a tight new album of nine fuzz-drenched songs.
Welcome to Fever Fantasy.
Blame the pandemic for the delay. The songs were recorded in late 2019 and mastered in early 2020—and then the world shut down. The band, which thrives on an old-school, no-bullshit mentality, declined to release the album without being able to properly support it through touring.
Sasquatch hits the road next month with underground heroes Hippie Death Cult before eventually linking up with Pieces of Molly. (Check out Sasquatch’s tour dates.)
Fans are in for a treat. Maneuvers showed an evolution in Sasquatch’s sound, bolstering their fuzzy, riff-heavy Stoner Rock approach to something even rawer—and Fever Fantasy is a direct continuation of that philosophy.
Just check out the opener, “It Lies Beyond the Bay,” and that tasteful, rough-around-the-edges approach:
Sasquatch has been a fixture in the Stoner Rock scene since their self-titled 2004 debut album (and they’ve even found their way into pop culture through soundtracks for video games and TV shows). The LA-based band is:
- Keith Gibbs – Guitar, Vocals
- Craig Riggs – Drums, Vocals
- Jason Casanova – Bass
Craig Riggs is a relatively new addition to the band, first hopping on to support the band on Maneuvers. Like Gibbs and Casanova, Riggs has been around the proverbial block, having played in Boston groups Roadsaw and Kind.
On Fever Fantasy, the keyboard and piano were played by David Unger. The album was recorded and mixed by Andrew Schneider and mastered by Carl Saff, and the artwork was by Ian Permana.
Fever Fantasy Album Review
Label: Mad Oak Records
Released: June 3, 2022
Track 1 – It Lies Beyond the Bay
“It Lies Beyond the Bay” opens the album with a few samples of crashing waves and birds in the distance. It’s a peaceful way to open, but the peace is short-lived. Within a few seconds, we’re introduced to the first of many tight riffs on Fever Fantasy. Like many songs on this record, “It Lies Beyond the Bay” sounds like it could have been an extension of Maneuvers, but it’s just slightly heavier.
Track 2 – Lilac
“Lilac” fires off with huge drums before launching into a fiery riff accented by a wavering lead guitar. With less melody than most Sasquatch songs, “Lilac” relies on pure energy and attitude for an emotional impact. This is a great song to listen for Craig Riggs’ full ability behind the kit, as “Lilac” owes plenty to his energy on the drums.
Track 3 – Witch
After its introduction, “Witch” is simply fun, riding the bouncy fuzz into a head-banging good time. “Witch” sounds like something that would have fit well onto IV or III, especially with that enticing lead guitar that weaves in and out of the assault. Although the bridge temporarily cools things off, the song eventually comes back even harder—this time backed by a keyboard.
Track 4 – Ivy
With its swirling guitars and deliberate plodding, “Ivy” features the tiniest dash of Psychedelic Rock in its introduction before slipping into the full song, which showcases another keyboard—a nice change in pace. Be sure to stick around for the big, bombastic guitar solo, which continues to drive the song into Psychedelic territory.
Track 5 – Live Snakes
With its powerful drums and quick riff, “Live Snakes” sounds like early Sasquatch (think “Chemical Lady”) with a slightly cleaner tone. Quick and with plenty of energy, “Like Snakes” has a bit of Punk Rock edge.
Track 6 – Voyager
Like “Lilac,” “Voyager” explodes out of the gate. Upbeat and with plenty of keyboard, “Voyager” has a few elements of Space Rock, pushing Sasquatch into fresh sonic territory that works surprisingly well for the band. This could have easily been an upbeat single ahead of the album’s release.
Track 7 – Part of Not Knowing
There’s a bit of Red Fang in track seven’s chaotic opening, but the song finally settles back into Sasquatch’s typical territory. And that’s not to disparage the song by any means; “Part of Not Knowing” has plenty of kick, and the “She’s my only incentive” refrain is quite the catch.
Track 8 – Save the Day, Ruin the Night
A fast-moving track that doesn’t quit, “Save the Day, Ruin the Night” is a raucous song running atop a quick riff and pounding drums.
Track 9 – Cyclops
There’s a certain emotional energy in “Cyclops” that makes it a fitting closer. While there’s still plenty of heavy riffing, “Cyclops” is a complex track marked by highs and lows, and the end result is a song that will leave you breathless as the final riff fades away.
Final Thoughts On Fever Fantasy
Final Score: 8/10
Standout Tracks: “It Lies Beyond the Bay,” “Witch,” “Voyager,” “Part of Not Knowing”
Pros: It’s great to have Sasquatch back. And it’s even better to find the trio hasn’t lost a step since Maneuvers.
Fever Fantasy channels the same riff-driven approach the band has always focused on, and the expanded commitment to keyboards adds a welcomed layered of Psychedelia to the band’s overall sound.
Cons: While Fever Fantasy is a strong return, it lacks the exhilarating high points of III (like “Get Out of Here”) and II (like “Pleasure to Burn”). Fortunately, Sasquatch manages to remain consistent from start to finish.
There are fewer standout riffs and hooks in Fever Fantasy than in the band’s previous efforts, but the individual strength of each song means you also won’t rush to skip any of these nine tracks.