Get ready for a trip back to the simple and early days of punk rock with the three retrograde pioneers from Western Australia aka Fuzz Bucket. Their release entitled II is raw and direct like a slug to the ribs, but it feels more like a shot of adrenaline. The guitar is, big surprise, very fuzzy in tone and the vocals annunciate like a stately Talking Heads meets Billy Idol. Energy levels vary, but the same unapologetic production trucks along with every note throughout this short-lived thrill ride.
Fuzz Bucket has been at it for a little over two years, but it's already evident that they all meet on the same plane and work very well together. The subtleties and musical choices are all spread evenly and there a few passages that open the gates for soloing. And these guys might be a lot of things, but at the core they are strong-willed rockers that revive old flavor with new tricks.
"Ego Trip" starts out very aggressive and then takes a couple steps back toward a fun disco beat, accompanying rough-edged chords and snake-like progressions. The middle is where all hell breaks loose. The drums go bananas with cymbals crashing into the night and the guitar acts like a sonically inclined seizure victim. Before things fall apart completely the chorus is restored and things are just as they were in the beginning creating a nice arc.
"Shatterhead" has a similar little conniving melody, minor and yet upbeat with mischief. The end is just a dynamic dismantling, which I thought wasn't the strongest choice. Following in that wake is "Lady" a more straight up old school rock jam that makes me think of Wolfmother. Maybe a little too much actually, this song borrows more than it creates. Not to slight Fuzz Bucket, they clearly demonstrate a signature sound despite possibly one apparent assimilation.
In closing, Fuzz Bucket isn’t too heavy and they aren't too light. I feel II appeals to the veteran rocker as well as the current generation of rock revival. It could work for a dirty bar as well as a festival. Here's to their name not holding them down, but lifting them above the masses. Rock on Fuzz Bucket, you wonky band of beautiful misfits.
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