Review: House of the Rising Fuzz – Boston Rock & Roll Comp (2015)


This is Boston’s House of the Rising Fuzz compilation. Who, what, when, where, and why. Well let’s see, read on! It’s a physical artifact, a tangible, audible documentary. It’s a beauty and it’s so mid-2010s, underground garage and punk and noise and dirty pop. A full effort coordinated by the inspiring bands on here and also 456 Records, Primordial Sounds, Theives Grotto, Boston Hassle, and Ben Semeta. It took a while to get here, but honestly is there a better time than now? Just days away (August 6th through 8th) is the Boston Fuzzstival – curated by the one and only Jason Treft’s Illegally Blind – and featuring most of the bands included on this compilation. Both the Fuzzstival and the release of House of the Rising Fuzz are dream come true events not only for the people directly taking part, but those slimers, those fanatics, like us, like You and Me, who can’t get enough of that F word.

From my perspective, I’ve seen all of these bands perform – some maybe just a couple of time, others a dozen or more – and a few (Barbazons, Nice Guys, and Miami Doritos) we are grateful to have released records and tapes for on our own label. We share a similar fondness for rock ‘n roll music that’s nicely being built up through the abovementioned proponents of underground culture here in Boston. There’s no reason why House of the Rising Fuzz can’t be our Casual Victim Pile. For those unfamiliar, that was a compilation of Austin TX rock ‘n roll bands released in 2010 by Boston area native Gerard Cosloy and his Matador Records. Where that album definitely had more innate spotlight given Austin’s reputation for live music and the big independent label distribution, House of the Rising Fuzz is a decentralized group effort that is very indicative of the spirit and community vibes in Boston. It’s one of those situations where the people that are fortunate to live here or tour through here can literally feel this energy, however, the larger, national music media sources don’t cover our bands anywhere near as much as groups from San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Memphis.

I can say for certain that House of the Rising Fuzz captures all the bands at their highest moments. I agree with Ben in his interview with Allston Pudding where he’s like for every band it’s “their best song yet”. In fact, his band Black Beach’s contribution “Kreep” is in the early lead for my favorite thing on this compilation. It is crunchy, punchy, slippery – an exhilarating blender of spacey garage punk tropes and odes. Bless its soul. I could get real nerdy and boring with descriptions and stuff, but the main thing I note is that I can toss this thing on and be like oh yeah That’s New Highway Hymnal. “Isolation” yup – I recognize Hadden’s vocals, Amelia’s bass, and Travis’ drumming style. They groovy. With The Monsieurs
“Shadow,” there’s also no mistaking. Except, they work over there in the blown out bubblegum punk department. There’s a reason why that group is universally revered around these parts. They make ya crazy with their memorable ramble and stampeding swagger.

The bands that I am least familiar with – Midriffs and Dinoczar – do a helluva job saying HI THERE… Midriffs offering “White Washed” is the longest journey at 5 minutes and 37 seconds, but one would be damned to call this a psych slowburner. It’s more comparable to what we know and love from NHH and The Televibes, the ole penchant for intoxicating instrumental freakouts. And speaking of which, the North Shore’s own Televibes “DMT” takes this style to every ticklish cavity of what has been revealed to us as psychedelic rock and roll music. Dinoczar might be the sludgiest and rawest talent on the compilation – their “Cream” unlocks the doors to the Slaughterhouse, if ya catch my drift.

It’d be a shame for me to not mention Miami Doritos and Nice Guys together. Subconscious and literal promotion and testimony to the greatness of their Splifft 7″ aside – they’ve lived together, toured together, and what not. I’ll tell you briefly the sonic difference. Miami Doritos is a guitar and drums duo but they make for a brutally concise, maximalist use of that nice fuzz, that nice noise. It’s intimidating, lovely on “Cut the Rope”. Now as for the “Chips” boys, the four Nice Guys. Their contribution is the previously UNreleased “Chips in the Moonlight” (though, if you’re keeping track – and you should be – they released an EP with this name. If you’ve never heard Nice Guys, you might want to start with this tune and work forwards, backwards, etc. At the heart, these fellas write catchy riffs. Also at the heart, they breakaway from these winner choruses and verses to what amounts to best-in-class dueling guitar breakdowns like in “Chips.”

This leaves us with Barbazons and Creaturos. Both have been around for some time now (Barbazons since 2010, formerly as Fagettes, and Creaturos since 2011) causing a racket but mainly making a name for themselves because they perform lush garage pop. Who am I to say, but if I’m trying to show someone whose only experience with Fuzz is the police what’s up, I might first direct them to Barbazons “Jake” which is surely many bits chaotic, but it is sunny and breezy and shiny. If they respond positively and I know they will, I’ll send them over to Creaturos “Bleeding Like A Stone,” which plays out as a psyched up slap to the best of good times ‘classic’ rock. I believe I’ve always felt this way with Creaturos and it is a compliment owed to their distinct playing.

Listen to these bands, support them at shows, book them. It might sound cheesy and everyone says it about everything, but seriously this is special. It’s super fun and rewarding for those who know and love these bands and the same for those who might be all ‘why should I care about Boston rock & roll in the year 2015’? I hope this reaches far beyond a local scope — it would not be nice for the thousands of appreciators of this kind of music to miss hearing this compilation!

Boston Fuzzstival 2014 Recap

Fuzzstivall
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014
Venue: Middle East Upstairs and Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Bands: Dinoczar, Black Beach, Gymshorts, The TeleVibes, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!, CreaturoS, Atlantic Thrills, Abadabad, Magic Shoppe, 28 Degrees Taurus, The Fagettes, Fat Creeps, Doug Tuttle, Ghost Box Orchestra, The New Highway Hymnal

Once again, here’s another show review in spectacularly late fashion! Ahh at least last year’s review was completed merely hours after leaving the show. Can’t win em’ all, but we live to fight again or something like that. Anywho, here’s some fond recollections of my favorite bands’ performances at this year’s Fuzzstival…. oh and a lengthy introduction as to cap it all off. You didn’t think you would escape one of my lengthy introductions now did you??? Haha.

We love going to shows. You don’t need me to tell you that unless you assumed we were masochists this whole time. It’s all been our great displeasure seeing all of your bands perform live year after year. It’s been ever so painful. Though, if it’s painful for a masochist isn’t it also pleasurable? You got me. We’re actually not masochists, we’re sadists. We spew filth and fury. Hate us on facebook.

Festivals are simply shows on steroids or better yet shows in the midst of a nasty coke binge. One band and then another and then another and then another and then another. Sensory overload. All senses are fuzzed up by the end of this shindig. All senses. The Lysergic Factory Lightshow, Video Joe Turner, and  Wax House A/V scrape the mucus off your brain, Emma’s Pizza deliver mouth watering slices, and fifteen of New England’s feistiest tear through what’s left of your withering eardrums. I think that covers all the senses. Ahh well, you get the gist.

We at KLYAM typically cover the fuzzy variety – garage spunk psychaholics.  So, it’s an absolute pleasure to have an entire festival dedicated to this “style” of music. Big thanks to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind for doing what must be done. We thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Fuzzstival, but the line up this year is even superior: many of our own local favorites and on top of it all, the party takes place at our favorite venue, Middle East.

———— UPSTAIRS ————-

Gymshorts – We scurry into the Middle East, fretting that we may have missed our Providence dawgs in Gymshorts. As we slime into the Mid East Up, I notice a crowded room and Gymshorts setting up to play and I realize I haven’t missed anything. An awesome relief washes over me.  Per usual they launch into “Scumdog” I WANNA GET HIGHHHH AND I WANNA GET STONEDDDD” ya you know.  They shred the usual No Backsies jams then things come to a halt briefly when one of their strings breaks. Hey, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t perfect. They bounce back with an apropos tune for the moment in “Oh Brother.” Catch these shorts on a giant ass tour all across these here United States: https://www.facebook.com/events/250069071850157/
Bandcamp: http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

The TeleVibes – Dude, these vibes get right under your skin and crawl around for a few days/weeks at a time. You’ll be telling all your friends and loved ones about how awesome The TeleVibes were at the Fuzzstival. Fuck, your grandchildren.

The Tellies are fuzztastic, but they got a little more than just grit in their wee bellies. They possess a tenacious affection for mind melting psych noise that’s dripping garage snot rockets all over the place. Guitar riffs coming straight from the bowels of hell. That’s old Charlie Northin’ there and old Scott Lorin’. And old brother Christian Hardy packing heat and smacking away on the skins. Sounds like these young men have spent entirely too much alone time with Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Segall. So, I guess then that’s not alone time, ahh well it’s too late to go back now. The past is the past and we’re living in a modern world, whatever that means.

I’ve seen The Tellies in the past, but prior to this Fuzzstival, it’s been about seven months (HOLY SHIT I know, I was shocked as well) and they sincerely sound better than ever. Actually, my favorite band at the Fuzzstival. Dig it. It’s dug. These Tellies be vibin’ so hard. They slap me in the face like a bag of wet dicks. Each guitar lick is a new slap to the face and I suppose the masochist in me wants more. More More More, no wait, wrong fuzz band. Forgive me or not, whichever works. I’ll be seeing The TeleVibes again and again, in my head and in my bed, now that I got me my very own Washed Up EP on cassette! LISTEN to it HERE: http://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/

Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion! – Listen up, you little freaks. Here’s one band you’re not going to FUCK with… ladies and gentlemen, Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost  Scorpion!

I’ve been seeing these fine gents a lot lately. Starlab Fest, Black Lodge, and now here at the Fuzzstival. Beware is the premiere Boston surf rock band, a surf nut’s wet dream. They lean hard towards the nuttier side of the surf realm, fitting in perfectly within this fuzz fest as my friend Dylan likes to call it.

As always Beware puts on a fun, frenzied show, constantly hoppin’ and boppin’ around the stage, leaving the audience on the edge/over the edge. Definitely a band to catch in the flesh sooner than later. Their recordings sound just as demonic though, check them out here: http://ghostscorpion.bandcamp.com/

CreaturoS – Local psych juggernauts, CreaturoS headline the first half of Fuzzstival, being the last band to play at the Middle East Upstairs tonight. The group (as with most of the bands playing this thang) thank Jason Trefts for hosting such an epic event. They rip through an earache inducing set of psych pop that Boston fans have come to know and love.

At one point this dude climbs on stage and awkwardly stands up there with the band for a few seconds.  I even think he’s a friend of the band for a minute. You know how sometimes bands pull up their comrades to sing or play along to a song. Not in this instance. The band smirks and kindly escorts the man off the stage. Perhaps he thought there would be a stage invasion like last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTFptrZH5Mc.

So, that’s the end of the first half of the fest. Oh and check out CreaturoS on bandcamp: http://creaturos.bandcamp.com/

———– DOWNSTAIRS ————

Atlantic Thrills – Providence dawgs Atlantic Thrills are kicking things off right for the second half of the Fuzz. Seeing the Thrillz up on stage here brings me back to the first time I saw them live about three years ago at this very same location opening for Those Darlins. Damn, and many more shows followed!

The crowd is still building up, but those of us that are present are devouring all the punk slime and saliva these maniacs have to offer. My favorite tonight is “Day At The Beach,” a great Summer jam or as Dan Tanner puts it “this song is about drugs and the beach.” Reckless abandon. For mo’ Atlantic Thrills:  http://atlanticthrills.com/

The Fagettes – Illegally Blind seriously rolls out the upper crust of local fuzz and Fagettes is a prime example of that. The group (featuring Nice Guy Jake Gilbertson on bass) pounds through a rockin’ set of gettes classics such as “On Drugs,” “Gonna Die Out Here,” and a bunch of others my fuzzed out dome is missing.

The crowd moves and shakes a bit more during their set, but are still too motionless for my tastes. That’s one of my few qualms about the Fuzzstival. Lack of significant crowd participation/dancing/moshing. Everything else is tip top A ok.

Ryan Fagette is as feisty as ever, prowling around the stage, fighting off some technical difficulties with his guitar. He gives a fiery performance during “I Wanna Feel Good” as he makes his way to the crowd, standing tall above everyone. He fervently shouts  I WANNA FEEL GOOD  directly into various patron’s eyes. He even messes around with the Lysergic Factory’s light show, making a mess out of all dem pretty colors. http://thefagettes.bandcamp.com/

Fat Creeps – FC is fresh off a two week tour with The Lentils. A friend of mine observed that bands always sound tighter when they have just come back from tour and I think that’s true in this instance. It’s like everything else, if you keep persistent, you naturally get better. I’m just happy to finally see the band perform at my favorite above ground venue; I believe this is their first time playing at the Middle East Downstairs. Anyway, definitely one of the better shows I’ve seen from the trio recently. No hesitation, kick out the jams, and raise some hell. Some hell.

I’m at the point now where I don’t really have much more to say about this band, I’ve seen them over 30 times and it’s always been a pleasure. I dig some of the audio assault in the “new” songs from Must Be Nice such as “Party” and “Having So Much Fun,” but I’ll always have a place in my heart for the oldies like “Nancy Drew” and “700 Parts.” It’s all good.  http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

We missed The New Highway Hymnal :( but, if I had seen them, they surely would appear in this article. Check them out regardless: http://thenewhighwayhymnal.bandcamp.com/

So, that’s my recollections. One big final shout out again to Jason Trefts/Illegally Blind.  Like, follow, share, support, do whatever you do on the fascist book, just most importantly GO to the fine ass shows he’s constantly putting on around Boston. https://www.facebook.com/IllegallyBlindPresents

Thanks

Video from TeenageRiotTv

Band Recommendation: The TeleVibes

I could tell you about The TeleVibes, but I say you should just go see them. Chris tried telling me about the Salisbury Mass threesome a few months back after catchin them at Wilder Zangcraft, but per the ole usual he was a bit shithaused!! Anyway, I caught TeleVibes last night playing alongside Nice Guys (so sick, you know this) and Gymshorts (Providence band so sick) at Zuzu and damn these guys rock ‘n roll straight top of the tot pole style. I mean TVs are more unusual than a lot of stuff passing as Surf Rock these days – and I mean this assuredly. The drums pound harder and wilder, guitar playing like a constant barrage of twisty leads. All very pop. Though there wasn’t much chaos amongst the crowd last night, I’d say that’s probably coming any day now with these dudes on the ]no[ stage.

They’ve got a tape coming soon – January 22, 2014 – and a release show that same night at Middle East Upstairs. Playing with them will be our fave Providence dudes The Atlantic Thrills, Vundabar, and The Guru.

FBhttps://www.facebook.com/TeleVibes
BChttp://thetelevibesofficial.bandcamp.com/

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