The Fuzztones


The Fuzztones Encore CD

A compilation of unreleased tracks from this long-running garage rock band, with seven covers and one original song, although judging by the original “Barking Up The Wrong Tree,” the band should stick to covers. Hearing a 70-year-old man announce in song that he is not gay is pretty pathetic. The lyrics, including “My backyard, babe / Is a no bone zone” and “I’m founding father of the paisley pussy posse” are cringeworthy at best. Time to leave the songwriting to others. The covers, including songs by MARBLE HALL, the BEVIS FROND, and the PRETTY THINGS, are obscure enough to make them interesting. There are guest appearances by Wally Waller of the PRETTY THINGS, STOOGES’ saxophonist Steve Mackay, and the GRASS ROOTS, too. The CD features two bonus tracks not on the 12”.

The Fuzztones NYC CD

This CD is the FUZZTONES’ tribute to their hometown of New York City. They do covers of RAMONES, the CRAMPS, DEAD BOYS, HEARTBREAKERS, the FUGS, PATTI SMITH, among others in a mellow garage rock style. They have changed some song’s lyrics. “Microdot” instead of “Chinese Rocks”? “53rd & 3rd” sounds extra creepy done in this slowed down in the “Crimson and Clover” melody. They even cover FRANK SINATRA’s “New York, New York” as the album opener. This is for fans only.

The Fuzztones Live in Europe LP

This rocks! 13 live cuts from their 1985 tour of Europe, including great covers of “Human Fly” and “I’m Loose.” Expensive but great sound quality, a nice gatefold sleeve and additional flexi make it all worth it; get it and get crazy.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins / The Fuzztones Live 12″

This guy was old back in the ’60s during his second coming, so you know he’s ancient now. No matter, this sicko of the R’n B world can still wail, doing a credible version of his classic “I Put a Spell on You” and three others. While nothing to rise out of the grave for, fans of both he and the FUZZTONES will want to have this musical memoir.

The Fuzztones Lysergic Emanations LP

More competent but not truly inspired ’60s psych/punk. Lots of covers again (SONICS, KENNY & KASUALS, HAUNTED, and the great “I’m a Living Sickness” by CALICO WALL). While the choice of covers is excellent, and the originals are sturdy tunes, they never quite “break plain,” making it transcend. Maybe next time they’ll truly psych out.

The Fuzztones Leave Your Mind at Home 12″

One thing that bugs me about a lot of today’s neo-’60s bands is that they’re so concerned about projecting the “correct” image and musical format that they actually do a disservice to the creative spirit of the mid-’60s, and the FUZZTONES sort of epitomize that tendency. I know it’s unfair to single them out, because they do produce appealingly raunchy blasts with belligerent singing, fuzz guitars, and cheesy organ swells, but they are among the most calculated of the bunch. Still, this batch of cover songs rocks out, so who cares?

The Fuzztones Bad News Travels Fast / Brand New Man 7″

The FUZZTONES dig their claws into some mean neo-’60s punk with this single. “Bad News Travels Fast” delivers its good with nasty guitar riffs and Rudi Protrudi’s “lead snarl,” though the screaming lead break on the B-side turns out to be the musical high-point of the record. Primitive, raw, and raunchy.