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Fuzz Evil - Fuzz Evil Award winner

Fuzz Evil
Fuzz Evil
by Ofer Mashiach at 29 January 2017, 7:35 PM

The rapidly growing scene of Stoner Rock in recent years has yielded to date many good bands. The heavy, somewhat psychedelic, smoky grooves that gained following in the late 1960's is here again; while many of the heavier bands of that era evolved into proto-metal and finally Heavy Metal, which had its own distinct characteristics, and those that attempted to retain that sound have gradually vanished. The advent of Stoner Rock in early 1990's saw bands starting to adopt those old-school Acid Rock sensibilities, infusing the genre with heavier grooves and more sophisticated riffs.

The year 2016 was very prolific, both in terms of Stoner album releases and the number of new bands, so one might have missed some noteworthy releases, and no wonder; it's hard to pick the real gems among the multitude. The hardest part is finding uniqueness; many bands sound similar to one another and, although they are good in their own rights, they too often lack real PERSONALITY. But personality is what Arizona's FUZZ EVIL is all about.

This three-piece fuzz generator released recently its tastefully crafted, rocking S/T debut. The six tracks that comprise the album have each distinct personality. The overall attitude is very straightforward and, though some of the influences apparent here could be traced to works of such acts as FU MANCHU, Sweden's TRUCKFIGHTERS or even early SAINT VITUS (in terms of a somewhat punkish vibe), they retain their integrity and are definitely not copycats. The entire album is magnificently poised from the solid songwriting, through the masterful production that keeps the right amount of fuzz without overdoing it and the predominant, punctual rhythm section, to the slightly gentle but convincing clean singing. All this amounts to a band that lives up to its name.

The album opener, "Good Medicine", starts with a dramatic chord accompanied by a drum roll, and then the crisp, fuzzy guitar kicks in, and then followed with the compelling bass line and spot-on drumming. The soft singing matches the instruments perfectly. Despite the heavy riffs, the smart arrangement is marked by a great sense of melody with being kitschy a single bit. Track 2 and 3 are quite similar in construction but they are totally distinct. The guitar tone in the solos is deep and reminiscent of what you might find in blues rock minus the pathos. Things take a slightly different direction when we get to "Bring Them Through", with its classic stoner vibe and busy instrumentation, which makes it sound heavier. It well showcases the tightness of the band. Here, too, the singing remains fairly soft but is never stale or boring. "Odin Has Fallen" is a bit more involved; the slower tempo coupled with the more advanced twisting and winding riffs and the hazy vocals make for a gratifying psychedelic treat. And if that wasn't enough to satiate your need, the dessert come in the form of a 7-minute, mind-boggling psychedelic dose that is "Black Dread," which will have you travel in time back to the late 1960's.

The CD version has two bonus tracks – "Born of Iron", previously released as a single in 2015 and "Glitterbones," which is featured on the band's split with CHIEFS from 2014. Both tracks are excellent in terms of musicianship, although they sound a bit raw as far as the production goes. All this combines into well-spent 40 minutes of your time that will leave you begging for more. This one is an instant favorite and I already can't wait for the next release.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Good Medicine
2. My Fuzz
3. Killing the Sun
4. Bring Them Through
5. Odin Has Fallen
6. Black Dread
Lineup:
Wayne Rudell - Vocals, Guitar
Joseph Rudell - Bass
Orgo Martinez - Drums
Record Label: Battleground Records
     


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