Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The FU'zz

     Okay, let's get one thing out of the way at the outset of the review, The FU'zz's name is, in fact, supposed to read like "F U". This bad pun seems to foretell a good amount about the band. The FU'zz is a "light spirited garage rock band". They make sure that we're all clear on this by deliberately misspelling song titles in a "fun and quirky" way. A good chunk of you probably have a more or less accurate pre-judgement about the band already. Yes, there is definitely a sound to The FU'zz's music that calls to mind that high school rock band that everyone praised just because they were barely capable of playing their instruments. The thing is, The FU'zz isn't like that band because they suck (thank god), but because its clear they're having fun with the music. At no point throughout the 14 song album that they have on Bandcamp have I ever thought that the recording artists were so caught up in producing a perfect product that they forgot to enjoy what they're doing.

     Starting on the negatives, I think the single biggest issue that The FU'zz has is oftentimes very crowded recordings for a garage rock band. When I think of lo-fi alt / garage rock bands, the first thing that comes to mind is a very stripped down, stark sound. I'll use what it arguably the best example of this, The White Stripes. If you pull up a White Stripes song, if you aren't familiar with any of their songs yet, you should notice that the music has a very unique atmosphere to it. It's a little hard to describe, somehow, The White Stripes can manage to fill in a lot of "empty space" in the recording that most other bands fill with more instrumentation, just by the way they write their songs. This liberal use of silence and figurative empty space as an instrument in and of itself is, in my opinion, the essence of truly great garage rock. Dirty, poorly recorded classic rock cuts and anxious vocals that express emotion not through melody, but through tone. Its for this reason that Jack White can get away with his oftentimes wildly off key vocals and still be called a great. But this is a review for The FU'zz, not The White Stripes.

     The other big problem with The FU'zz is that their overarching sound can become a bit inaccessible and eclectic at times. At moments songs can turn into simultaneously pop, funk, punk, metal, and surf rock inspired oddities where one wonders who but the music connoisseur with the most eclectic tastes could get the full value out of the song (see Fried 4 Eternity and Trippin Onna Shoelace). This brings us to The FU'zz's finer points in a roundabout way. Somehow, The FU'zz can make this bizarre, quirky sound work. I don't presently know of any bands that make the contrasting sounds bounce off of one another in such an effective way, my closest approximation would be Primus, but to suggest that Primus is even playing the same sport as The FU'zz would be insane. On the more straightforward, purposeful songs (Soggy, Forever Bugs, etc.) The FU'zz pulls off some really cool, dark, crunchy riffs and funky basslines, but I feel like these songs are a bit less interesting, if a bit more focused, then their oddball counterparts. On the flip side, these "junk drawer" songs feature plenty of good riffs and fills as well, but the nature of these songs leads to the song elements getting spread thin among the plethora of influences.

     So I feel like I've accurately described The FU'zz's defining sound. Unusual, experimental dark, noisy, and lo fi. I don't feel like they could possibly be called a massive, groundbreaking success as a consequence of the crowded and overwhelming recording, but as trite as the statement is both within my reviews and among others, The FU'zz is a fun, rewarding listen that reminds me of the (probably false) maxim of my local high school bands, that they do it for the music, not the attention or the money. The only difference is that I wholeheartedly believe the statement rings true in The FU'zz's case.

No comments:

Post a Comment