stuffy/the fuses - join me or die!
a lot of wedding present strummed/noised out guitars start the album and are quite off putting, in fact so off putting that i curled my nose stopped listening and refused to go back for many a week. then i received a tipoff that peelie has been giving this album time and space on his radio show. i must have missed something .. time to revisit.
so, a week later and all has changed.
i urge the listener to get past this unwelcoming opening noise for the album settles into its xtc meets blur type thing well. hightlight has to be the 'friend' a simple indierock track that has warm heart and catchy as hell appeal, instrumentental 'billybob thornton' is just someone showing off with their effect pedals and expecting us to enjoy .. its ok .. but hey .. this is what b-sides are for .. luckily though its slides into 'wheres the captain' .. now this is more like it .. a pixies style guitar/bass and hang on was that a howl a la frank ? oh .. thats why i didn't feel this album first time, this track is a complete pixies homage. a serious no-go for me at the time, the pixies just passed me by, on each of the 2 occasions i saw them live, and the albums, they just sent cold shivers ooop me spine .. but pushing all that historical negativity aside, this album is a breath of fresh air.
there are obtuse lyrics, humorous extras, weird effects, twisted guitars, delicate guitars, noisy guitars .. all wrapped around some cracking songs. some have straight forward vocals from stuffy (the drummer - eeeek the indierock phil collins ..), others have a doubled up vocal interplay with bass player caroline adding to the visceral pleasures. i will admit that not every track is a success, 'sleeping' is too long and reveals the vocal limitations, and 'in the river' features lyrics relating to a suicide, something that the indierock fans have enough ongoing issues with at present. dont need to have more songs on the topic if you ask me. but thats just me, being all paternal and life loving. and, is the opening to 'veruca salt' a direct hives lift or am i hearing things ?
all in all though, if you like old school indie rock with an extra 99 flake appeal then dive in and join stuffy and his gang. i'm sure he'll make a fine host.