Suzukiton – Service Repair Handbook

Service Repair Handbook

Suzukiton is a Richmond, VA-based band that includes current and former members of stoner-rock favorites Alabama Thunder Pussy. As a departure from ATP’s normal fare, Suzukiton’s music is completely instrumental and is much more technical with heavy nods toward progressive metal and math-rock. The band’s music is heavy as hell, with plenty of fine-tuned arrangements and enough tempo changes to keep the listener interested. The lack of vocals leaves plenty of room for your mind to wander the path of its choosing while experiencing Suzukiton.

Service Repair Handbook, the group’s long-anticipated full-length, was recorded in 2002 and finally released by Crucial Blast in 2005. The album contains 13 blistering tracks that are sure to please almost any metal fan – particularly those fond of the more technical side of things. The disc begins with the superbly crafted math-rock of “Arithmatits,” a song that expertly infuses soaring dual-guitar riffs with a masterful rhythm section. “Rogue Mechanica” has a sludgy feel that reminds you that the four musicians in Suzukiton also have a love for stoner rock, while other tracks like “VIII” and “New Blood” are straight-up metal. The group’s romp through all things progressive rounds out with the aptly titled “Slow Song,” which is much softer and less intense then the other offerings here but equally as good.

It’s hard to have a lot to say about an album like Service Repair Handbook – not because anything is lacking, but because music like this is so cerebral. Suzukiton laid a solid framework here, and it’s really up to each listener to mentally run with it. In the vein of other instrumental rockers like Stinking Lizaveta, no matter how good the recorded material is, the live show is where it’s at. Although I haven’t had a chance to see Suzukiton play live, I hope the musicians will have the chance to hit the road together again soon. Service Repair Handbook has quickly become one of my favorite instrumental albums, and as much as I enjoy Alabama Thunder Pussy, I hope these guys continue to pursue this side project. This is a must-have album for any fan of progressive metal, math-rock, or stoner rock.