When a band name sounds like my favourite guitar tone, I’m instantly attracted. When their album title Fvzz Dei literally translates as ‘The Fuzz of the Gods’ I’m completely sold. Fvzz Popvli are a roman fuzz rock trio who promise that their debut album will bring you into a “rough and bluesy fuzzed-out universe.” Released on September 22nd via Heavy Psych Sounds Records, it will be closely followed by a European tour from 5th to 22nd October.
The album cover itself depicts an ancient Roman teathral mask, the first example of amplification in the world and is a fitting tribute to the noise fest that awaits. This eight track debut packs in a dense, forty minute onslaught of pure fuzz laden filth.
Incredibly atmospheric opener “Intro” (an almost seven minute long instrumental number), sets the tone perfectly for the entire album. Seductive solitary bass tones provided by Datio are gradually layered upon as Pootchie teases us with his guitar and Doncalisto lures us in on drums. I’m imagining a grim duel at dawn being paced out as the swell of sound builds, sending tingles down my spine. The guitar tones becomes scuzzier, the drums more urgent and the bass agitated. A prodigious opener, it leaves me famished.
As the album slides into a more psych-grunge flavour, “Stamps are for…Smile” pursues. A sublime retro sound to the production gives a real garage vibe. Something the band set out specifically to capture in the recording process, “Recorded with the warm sound of an analog mixer from Italian 80s TV shows, and mastered with a real tape analog support!” It reminds me of early Blur and My Bloody Valentine. I’m immediately hooked.
“Masturbation” is a heavier, bluesy track. Distorted vocals and flanger overload, give it a sordid fascination. This grungy feel continues in “Lost in Time” (that you can check out below). Psychedelic hooks instantly remind me of The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” and it is easily one of my favourite tracks on this album.
If I were to pick a weak spot, it’s when “Hashish” kicks in. Its incredibly repetitive bass hook leaves me a little flat and I feel as though I’m waiting for the song to start and it just doesn’t. It doesn’t go anywhere. It’s a disappointing instrumental number after the impressive opener to the album.
Back on track however with the explosive “White Fish”, kicking off at a far faster pace has me wanting to dance along. Probably the most rock n’roll track on the album, it’ll have you up on your feet head banging and slaying the air guitar in gratification.
“LPG” is scuzz laden with scratchy distorted vocals, reminding me very much of God Damn. This leads nicely into monstrous album closer “Shamother” – all ten minutes forty eight seconds of it! It’s like you’ve wandered into the band’s smokey, haze filled rehearsal room and they’re just jamming it out. The bass brings the funk, gradually layered by gritty guitars and crashing drums. It’s a sublime track, blues-driven with a psych-heavy soundscape that consummates this album exquisitely.
This is a fantastic debut album drenched in psyche-heavy riffs, hard-hitting garage rock and so much fuzz you’ll need to shave afterwards.
Fvzz Dei is released on 22nd September