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Service Repair Handbook

by EricLynnMitchell
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As all-instrumental heavy rock outfits go, Richmond, VA's Suzukiton are not of the most immediately distinctive stripe. More regimented than the always unpredictable the Fucking Champs, less dangerous than the creepily enigmatic Karma to Burn, they excel at lining up a seemingly endless multitude of riffs into Service Repair Handbook's near nonstop 35 minutes. As such, this is an album of moments rather than consistently slack-jawed brilliance (perhaps explaining why it languished unreleased for three whole years), since themes are often repeated ad nausea with little hope of resolution, and all 13 tracks only vaguely adhere to typical rock & roll song arrangements. Sifting through the mayhem while the quartet hardly pause for breath, you quickly latch onto what may just qualify as the longest spell of unchanging guitar-chugging ever attempted on the otherwise forgettable "Meatal," trip over some rather interesting chaotic noise and feedback improvisations in the center of "Rogue Mechanica," find some clever use of space amid the brusque stop-starts of "R&T" and "Shit Trigger," and then come upon the nicely oscillating licks over doom-slow riffs heard in "Melon." The rest, unfortunately, mostly blurs into the faded memory, which, given some of Suzukiton's musicians' past involvement in king stoners Alabama Thunderpussy, suggests a somewhat "distracted" state of mind may have affected these creations. Not their spot-on, tightly spun execution, however, and, considering the sum of all parts (motorcycle pun intended) here, Suzukiton's first outing proves compelling enough to render it a worthwhile investment for dedicated fans of heavy instrumental music. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi

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