100 DEMONS - The Fuzz (Reverberation)
They make a few mistakes along the way but young West Australians The Fuzz also ram home the very assuring message that rock and roll is in safe hands. Who would have thought they were from Bunbury?
Bunbury sits a couple of hours south of Perth, on the way to the Margaret River vineyards. I got lost in Bunbury once, trying to strike out for Wine Country before dark. One big and lamentably sign-posted roundabout and a wrong turn later and I was motoring along the township's backstreets, hopelessly lost and looking for a road out. The Big B and its lack of signage was a roadblock between me and a bottle of Evans & Tate's finest. But I'd glady get lost beating a path to Bunbury's door if The Fuzz were playing there.
Enough of "On The Road" posturing - Kerouac liked jazz but knew fuck-all about rock and roll. And The Fuzz are uncomplicated rock and roll, a little trebbly in parts but blessed with enthusiasm, dynamics and loud, loud guitars. Plus Abbe May's powerful, soulful vocals.
Have I said that this lady puts me in mind of Wendy Case of The Paybacks? Maybe Abbe's pipes deliver a slightly smoother sound, but both gals are driving V-8 muscle cars, vocally speaking, and run on beer and hi-octane fuel.
Not sure who out of guitarists Doug May or Jiah Fishenden plays what, but the time-honored set up of one laying down a thick carpet of sound and the other articulating leads is in evidence. Not much noodling going on here, just straight-up rocking. The band name might suggest another pack of acid punk revivalists, but strike up another win for the enduring influence of Aussie pub rock, although The Fuzz rise above the rote.
I'm not sure that The Fuzz have written/recorded many better songs since their "Take The Money" EP, two songs from which - the title tune and "You Must Be Dead" - are reprised here, but that's not to say that these ain't good 'uns. The closer, "PJ", is my pick with its weaving guitars and wah-wah coda. It was probably the production (with much accent on the top end) that made a few of the others wash over me for the first couple of listens.
The Fuzz will go on to make better records than this, but don't take that as a negative. "100 Demons" is ample reason to cock and ear to one of the better bands going around. The Fuzz's unmistakable "fuck you" air should give them a resilience to kick on, and build their popularity with the kids who are showing signs of actually getting into live music, these days. - The Barman
TAKE THE MONEY - The Fuzz (Reverberation)
Five tunes that more than hint of greatness from this West Australian five-piece. Yeah, five songs that reek of dirty, unpretentious rock and roll, before anyone drew up demarcation lines of what's suburban and what's inner-city.
You want cool? Try sultry, whisky-beaten vocals, a gigantic-sounding, rumbling engine room and guitars locked tooth and nail in some death-dive grind. Is it sacrilegious/uncool to drop the name Suze De Marchi (as in Baby Animals?) Stiff shit. Abbe May sounds like a junior version of her, sans big production and a band with too many metal tendencies for their own good. The rest of the Fuzz sound like the BellRays would if they concentrated more on songs and less on freeform jams. Not faint praise.
Contrary to its title, "You Must be Dead" sounds startlingly alive, a steamroller with guitars and a set of lungs. "Take the Money" is right on the money - substantial, imposingly dark and catchy. "Lil Chuck" checks in at 1min44sec and sort of thrashes about without going much anywhere, but the guitar motif and downcast, Niagara-tinged vocal in "Monster" latches on like a pit bull in search of a decent feed. Lean and ugly.
"Broken Teeth" is a bit of strut and a good 'un at that. Then it's over.
Before you ask why it's only an EP, there are more songs in the can - or were 'cos someone apparently wiped them by accident. No fear, The Fuzz have more in the petrol tank. In fact, I heard a set of demos by these guys a bit over a year ago and they so impressed that I slipped a copy to FBi Radio, who gave them airplay. Something tells me a few more airwave types will be sniffing around before too long. - The Barman
TO THE REVIEWS PAGE
BACK TO THE BAR