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Sunday, 20 August 2017
SPIRIT VALLEY - NEGATIVES (Fuzz Club LP, D/L). SACCADES - SACCADES (Fuzz Club LP, CD, D/L). HOLY WAVE - FUZZ CLUB SESSIONS (Fuzz Club LP).
Strange things are happening…………………presenting for your delight and delectation a round up of some of the new releases from the weird and wonderful Fuzz Club Records.
In the ongoing evolution of Psychedelic Rock it appears that the 60s may nearly be over (the 60s officially ended in 1976 after some uptight a-hole booted in his telly after seeing the Sex Pistols on the Bill Grundy show but not everybody got the memo), the endless recycling of Black Sabbath riffs and Neu!/CAN grooves from the 70s are on the wane and all the cool kids are now digging 80s Post Punk and Psychedelia with Joy Division/New Order low slung bass lines, the chiming guitar of the early Echo and The Bunnymen records and the dark, psychedelic ambiance of The Cure and Sisters Of Mercy among others now being copped as influences/inspiration for many of the latest wave of fuzzed up and freaked out Psych Rock bands. The new album from Amsterdam two-piece Spirit Valley draws heavily on the early 80s UK post Punk Neo-Psychedelic scene, particularly the first two Echo and The Bunnymen records Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here (which, by the way,are essential purchases), along with more modern Psych Rock flourishes. At its darkest, Spirit Valley’s expansive, primal Psych Rock falls somewhere between the fuzzed out Rock’n’Roll of The Black Angels and the warped synths of Moon Duo, however Negatives is an album that constantly wrestles its way between light and dark and in Spirit Valley’s lighter, more cinematic moments we are overwhelmed by a beautifully crushing wall of noise that recalls the gravelly croons of the first wave of Post Punk bands with glacial New Wave, almost Gothic, synths and guitars plucked right out of the 80s. Like a bullet to the head, Spirit Valley's sonic assault of fuzz-heavy guitars and tribal percussion burns straight to the brain from from the second the needle hits the wax……………..the album opener ‘Don't Panic’ is an onslaught of ferocious drumming and twisted synths and guitars setting the tone for some of the most visceral Psychedelic Rock we have heard this year. Negatives is simply brilliant, melding influences decades apart into a powerful statement addressing where Psychedelic Rock has been heading for the last couple of years.
Best known as one-half of The KVB, Berlin-based musician Nicholas Wood spent the summer of 2016 working on a solo album under the moniker of Saccades and the fruits of this labour have now been released by Fuzz Club as his self titled debut record. As you would expect, it’s quite a departure from his work with The KVB and has already been described as "A bright, sun-drenched psych pop reverie that places Saccades leagues above the rafts of diluted Tame Impala rip-off’s that loosely throw around the term". Recorded and produced by Nick himself, the twelve tracks on Saccades see him take a much more melodic, guitar-based approach, ditching the dark, glacial synths of his work with The KVB and serving up a vivid, immersive combination of jangling reverb-drenched guitars, vintage 70s synths, minimalistic percussion and dreamy echoing vocals. Recorded using an old Tascam tape recorder, there’s a warm lo-fi feel to the record that manages to make the songs feel even more euphoric than they already are. Warm and pastoral, it’s not the sort of record that you would usually associate with Fuzz Club, a label better known for it’s ear shredding cutting edge Psych Rock than a gentle psychedelic meander through a host of 60s/70s influences…………..it’s a strange and beautiful album full of dreamy escapism that echoes 60s West Coast tripped out bliss infused with loved up Neo-Psychedelia. Recommended.
And finally…………………………….Fuzz Club Records’ live session series has already seen amazing releases from the likes of Night Beats, Heaters, The Entrance Band and 10,000 Russos and it’s still showing no sign of slowing down. The latest to join the club is Austin's finest Garage/Surf heavyweights, Holy Wave. While the band were in the UK touring their 2016 LP Freaks Of Nurture, Fuzz Club invited the band to an analogue recording studio in South London to lay down a live album. Holy Wave’s Fuzz Club Session contains one previously unreleased track ‘Buddhist Pete’ and five other cuts from Freaks Of Nurture. The Texas five-piece are clearly steeped in a 60s Nuggets-era nostalgia but manage to make it completely their own with daydreaming pop melodies and expansive songwriting their reverberating Garage Pop sounds better than ever with the warm analogue recording of the session creating a hazy echo chamber of sun soaked psychedelic ecstasy………………..recorded live, straight to 2” tape and committed to wax……….Dig It kidz.
All these records are out NOW and should be available from all the best record stores, the usual suspects on line and of course directly from Fuzz Club Records.