Tag Archives: Fruit Tones

Freakender Day 2, 16/9/17

Kicking off a day sure to be filled with riotous revelry for Freakender day two are local act Kaputt, playing their first ever show, and at six bands in to the weekend we’re seeing a little sax revival as 50% of the acts on offer have contained saxophone thus far, not that we’re complaining.

The five piece are built of fine stock, coming from some of the best DIY acts in Glasgow at the moment (Spinning Coin, Lush Purr, Breakfast Muff, The Bellybuttons, Chrissy Barnacle) and it’s credit to them that there is a uniqueness to their other projects; fast paced dizzying guitar, basslines full of bounce, chanted three way vocals and the addition of sax, which gives them fluidity and fullness in sound it would be difficult to achieve otherwise.

All in all they’re a really fun garage pop act that we are very impressed with and hope we can see grow from this promising beginning.

Another first ever set, Acid Cannibals deliver an invigoratingly loud set, like we expected any less from this duos background (The Cosmic Dead, Sick of Talk, Droves, Thisclose, Mantilla).

They are a blast of powerful riffs and bullet speed drums that do enough to shake away any hangovers in the room lingering from yesterday.

The duo create a churning wave that’s hard not to drowned by, plundering you to the depths, smashing you off the rocks only for you to come back for another go.

At times they hook you into a strong grooves, at others they pulverise with sheer power; either way they’re an experience to behold.

With a warm DIY pop sound and some delightful harmonies Hairband get upstairs started for the day.

Another relatively new Glasgow DIY supergroup of sorts (Breakfast Muff, Rocky Lorelei, The Yawns, Lush Purr) the five-piece deliver three way harmonies, all coated in plenty of sweet stuff.

The lackadaisical beauty of their guitars float just below the enchanting vocals, while meandering rhythms keep you on your toes without ever wandering too far into the strange.

They’re essentially a left field pop band keeping things delightful yet odd in subject matter, while maintaining a warmth that challenges just enough while keeping you in a dizzying high.

Psychedelic proto punk five-piece The Dreads are the first non Scottish band on the bill and they more just than justify their place with a set crammed full of rocking grooves, acid touched organ and a real garage rock croak of a vocal that creates a vibe of early Stooges.

Dressed in all white the Belfast based band pose a stirring presence and set in motion the first hints of the wild times to come from the crowd later on, blistering through half an hour of classic sounding tracks with a chaotic feel, that ends with the vocalist nearly out the door before returning to the mic and near swallowing it whole with a sickening scream.

Back upstairs The Birth Marks play the sort of garage pop that tempts you in with fun vibes and keeps you there with solid rhythms and brilliant tracks.

They may not be as odd or powerful as some of the acts on already, but that’s the beauty of this line up as the charming Mancs deliver real earworms of tracks that demand you to move along against your will.

Born out of some of Manchester’s best garage acts these guys are more than taking on the mantel, delivering perfectly crafted pop nuggets with dual sneered vocals and a sound that can engulf a room without any gimmicks, and just when you think you’ve heard all they’ve got their final track pulsates with a screamed velocity that lifts them up another notch.

Fruit Tones continue in a similar vibe downstairs, with more hooky garage pop that explodes into tangy psych tinged segments.

The Manchester band has been up in Glasgow plenty with their association with Fuzzkill Records and have plenty acclimatised themselves as they swig from a Buckfast bottle before blasting into another fast number, punctuated by vocals that go from hooky sneers to high pitched yelps; they can do slow numbers too as they calm it down with tracks dipped in soothing 60s surf vibes.

London based, but hailing from as far as Sweden, Italy and Australia, Yassassin come with bags of sassy punk attitude, yelped vocals that turn to four way chants to almost cabaret moments with a rhythm that drives them forward into strong 90s alternative vibes.

The five-piece, born out of acts like The History Of Apple Pie, LUST, Bonfire Nights and Loaded, has a never giving presence and compounding energy that recalls the likes of Kim Deal in Breeders mode, as loud yet haunting backdrops hush the crowd while getting people moving at the same time.

Hilarity ensues as the enthusiastic Raissa Pardini tries some Scottish slang (“shut up ya roaster”) in her thick Italian accent, before she burst into the crowd bass flailing on for the band’s last number.

Downstairs there’s a proper urgency to COWTOWN as the Leeds based trio blast through a set of hooky yelped vocals, explosive drums and addictive attitude.

Add to that a polite likeable stage chat and you’ve got a band you can’t help but warm to.

As has become the norm of the day they are super fast and lively and as they progress the crowd gets more and more energetic, as the band go from breakneck garage pop to synth heavy robotic rock to potential indie classics, whatever we get it’s a whips up a fury of fun vibes.

Fun seems like a word I’ve used a lot in this review, but that’s exactly what this festival is, but that said I can’t stress I mean it most when I say The #1’s are the fun.

They’re a power pop four piece out of Dublin that play with smiles on their faces and the most addictive delivery you’ll witness.

This is the stuff that should be chanted along to on mass in much bigger venues, they hark back to the poppier end of the late 70s punk movement; at one listen you’ll be in love, at two you’ll know all the words at three you’ll be belting them out with them.

All four members deliver lead vocals throughout the set, yet it never seems to drop in quality, they may not be the most innovative or technical band of the weekend but they deliver the most unabashed fun; they even pull festival organiser Ian Crawford up on stage to sing The Buzzcocks’ ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ and get the crowd surfing started for the day.

The riotous atmosphere that begun upstairs continues from the off downstairs as Shredd raise a ruckus with their howling, swirling fizz filled take on garage rock that leans on the side of good heavy riffage, with only Chris Harvie’s heavily reverberated vocals stopping the sound going all the way to full on metal assault.

It’s well documented how much we like these guys and today they again prove why with a churning fury of a live experience that you can’t help but let blow you away and see where it takes you.

When I say the room is totally packed for Manchester’s DUDS that is not an understatement, this is seriously the busiest I’ve ever seen The Old Hairdessers and the band, who’re selling their soon to be released debut album via Castle Face Records today, look in no mood to let down.

Their angular post punk sound is completely different from anything else on the bill, while still fitting into the day’s line up perfectly.

Trumpet and cowbell add original touches to their jaggy fast pop sound without ever getting anyway near corny, they’re just the right side of experimental with their discordant post punk that hooks in deep with both creativity and originality.

There’s an element of danger to their sound, a dark urgency, an impending chaos that makes them all the more appealing; at points it’s hooky and fun at others you’re on tenterhooks at where the next three minutes are going to lead, but are never let down.

Falmouth’s The Black Tambourines keep up the pace downstairs with their break neck, sun kissed surf pop.

An early cover of Creedance Clearwater Revival’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ sets crowd moving and the trio don’t let it stop, well until the kick pedal is broken, quickly resolved and things kick off again.

At points they deliver lackadaisical surfy pop at others more punk tinged material that is still somehow indebted to 60s surf, while their live show is a flurry of addictive energy as they thrash about looking like they’re having as much fun as the pit that’s formed in front of them.

Closing tonight’s festival are a band it seems like a age since we last saw and Holy Mountain and don’t let down, as killer sludgy metal riffs engulf the room, the volume hits max, churning drums blast at break neck pace, while Andy McGlone’s sporadic guttural gruff tones add that extra bit to transform the sound into a full on aural assault.

We once wrote them a negative record review citing them as “70s arseholes” who walk “in and out of bars like they own the place”, just cos they wanted one, tonight you they could easily do that in the Hairdressers, well if they aren’t kicked out first for breaking curfew.

The lights go up, the band keep playing, the leccy gets cut the drum keeps going with the rest of the band triumphantly holding their instruments over their heads while the security look on clueless at what to do; proper riotous stuff to end a crazy day at Freakender’.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Allan Lewis

FUZZKILL presents Shredd (single launch), Fruit Tones (EP launch), Breakfast MUFF, Savage Mansion at The Old Hairdressers, 8/4/17

Savage Mansion break into a dreamy and familiar seeming song, reeking of various decades past but brought up to speed with their lively, contemporary approach; consistent but ever-changing, familiar but novel.

This dichotomy between new and old is mirrored by nothing better than the facial hair from left to right.

Mutton chopped funky man Jamie Dubber wanders up and down the bass ponderingly, bouncing each track gleefully along the instrument.

On the other side of the stage, guitarist Andrew Macpherson sports a more contemporary fashion, in musical style and facial hair.

In the middle stands frontman and project foreman Craig Angus, playing simple but highly endearing guitar hooks earlier on in the set.

Both guitarists take their opportunity to show us some serious skills, while Taylor Stewart adds vocals to a number of choruses as well as to periods of general voco-musical madness spattered throughout the set, while managing to drain respectable amounts of beer from his glass in between songs.

It will be exciting to see how Savage Mansion develop over the next few years, their stylistic range is great and the vocals are very adaptable, varying in greater degrees between songs rather than within them – which is in no way a criticism, it keeps the set lively, unpredictable and engaging.

Breakfast MUFF take to the stage next to open with a song ostensibly about hating a subjects guts; it’s fun, energetic and dynamic, not unlike the band.

Simone and Eilidh are on the vocals for this number, synchronising and harmonising well whether their approach is punky and abrasive or melodic and soft.

Breakfast MUFF’s constituent members swap instruments and vocal roles readily, at least four times throughout the set.

This lends the band an integral dynamic; imbuing each member with a sense of each instrument and what is going on throughout the set at all times.

All are vocalists and multi-instrumentalists who seem to know every part of each song – not just their own, which comes across in their synchrony.

The last time I saw Breakfast MUFF – just across the alley in support of The Hotelier – I commented that I found some of their songs a little twee.

I wouldn’t level that criticism this time; their songs have simple hooks but are never boring, they are fast, fun, popping, well-conceived, dynamic, evolving and technically impressive.

Next up to is Manchester’s Fruit Tones, who’re are a lot more methodical and archaic in their sound than the previous bands, this is not to say that they don’t have their own distinct sound; they do, and it is lasting, timely and worth hearing.

Breakfast MUFF’s Simone plays drums for them, as if she hadn’t done enough.

They play a new song, complete with blinding guitar hooks, proudly audible basslines and Simone’s tight, cymbal laden drum work.

The vocals have an immortal edge which echoes of ages past whilst being extremely relevant.

The set is rounded out with some furious guitar work, setting the stage well for the act we’ve all been waiting for.

Shredd bring every inch of the energy and style that they commit to record to their live performance and then some.

The reverberated vocals permeate through the melodic and fuzzy garage superbly.

A mosh-pit starts almost as suddenly as the set.

Their energy is unavoidable, although why you might wish to avoid it is unknown.

The crowd is electrified, they came here to see Shredd and they do not disappoint.

Shredd are not over-reliant on any one element, but use them all to create an intoxicating compound of pure gold.

Their live performance is replete with pulsing waves of psychedelia and wild garage jams that combine to bring about tonight’s highlight.

A new song entitled ‘What’s This I See?’ typifies the bands exuberance, unmistakable style and sheer unadulterated talent – there’s even a drop of crowd surfing.

The vocal harmonies are quite unique for this style of music, whilst the drummer is a frantic wildcard.

When there are no vocals, the three face each other and go hell for leather, putting the work in.

The drums are great, the bass is great, the guitar is great and the vocals are great; Shredd are great, is what I am getting at I guess.

The crowd gets a little too lively for its own good, with people being burst all over the place and falling onto the stage, with some attempts at crowd surfing going less than well.

The Old Hairdressers isn’t big enough for this crowd and Shredd, great though it is.

They play ‘Hideout’, a song which, when I reviewed their EP, I challenged anyone to stay still during and I am happy to report that nobody was able to, what an example of a great song.

They play ‘Cobra’ last, their new single, which the night is centred around is another example of a great song, their bassist Mark Macdonald is raised aloft to surf the crowd whilst walloping out with the songs challenging lines.

Forgive me for all my superlative adjectives, Shredd are just brilliant live – go and see them at your earliest convenience and whilst tickets are still cheap.

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Words: Paul Aitken
Photos: Allan Lewis

FREAKENDER at The Old Hairdresser’s, 17/9/16

By the time I make it to The Old Hairdresser’s, even the designated gig photographer is crowdsurfing with a gleeful abandon – digital SLR in one hand, a bottle of Buckie dregs in the other.

And it’s barely gone 8 o’clock.

The raw power of London’s Thee MVPs has forged the audience into a single clammy mass, swaying back and forth across the floor: less in time with the music, more in an effort to stay on their collective feet.

True to FREAKENDER’s DIY spirit, there’s no separation between band and audience, as sweaty punters frequently careen into microphone stands (but are always sure to put them back in place afterwards).

Acoustically, the high-ceilinged downstairs space is a bit of a challenge for acts like Thee MVPs and Sweaty Palms: their louder passages risk getting lost in murk, but they more than make up for this handicap with bucketloads of passion.

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In the more evenly proportioned upstairs venue, the psych-inflected garage rock of Manchester’s Fruit Tones is an absolute delight.

Their guitarist – whose name the internet sadly won’t divulge, but whose spirit animal is evidently George Harrison circa ‘67 – lets rip with a cosmic solo on closer ‘Voodoo Room’, which is made all the better for being utterly unexpected.

By the end, both he and his bassist are hoisted aloft on the shoulders of some enthusiastic spectators, whose centre of gravity is almost as impressive as Fruit Tones’ chops.

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Having gotten accustomed to losing their shit in front of mainly male, mainly topless acts, the men in the crowd initially don’t know how to respond to LA’s Feels.

It’s an interesting dynamic to observe – punters who were in full taps aff mode ten minutes prior suddenly assume a more reverential poise when effortlessly cool and talented women enter the performance space.

Whether this should be the case or not at a punk gig is a debate to be had elsewhere, but there’s no dispute as to the quality of Feels: they are absolutely majestic tonight.

‘Slippin’’ in particular is a knockout: a slinky, snaky groove so assured of its own addictiveness that it doesn’t need to hide behind walls of distortion to do the job.

At one point, bassist Amy Allen tries to lead the crowd in a full-throated round of ‘scream therapy’, but any anger in the room seems to have dissipated thanks to Feels’ musical medicine.

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As the clock strikes midnight, space rock Odysseans The Cosmic Dead bring the evening’s proceedings to their most righteous conclusion.

They’re the only touring band today who can make you feel like you’re hurtling through the Stargate itself, in a flimsy rocket powered only by a motorik beat and pure adrenalin.

Over the course of the next hour, the Hairdresser’s crowd delves through the Monolith as one, until it seems as though the entire universe is encapsulated within guitarist James T Mackay’s shamanic beard.

After hammering through the set with an otherworldly strength, drummer Julian Dicken collapses in a heap on the floor, his body 99% water, while fans grab drumsticks and surround the kit to keep the empyrean beat going – one hopes for all eternity.

There are too many bands deserving of mention here: my only regret of FREAKENDER is that I couldn’t be in two places at once.

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Words: Graham Neil Gillespie
Photos: Aidan (Walk>Talk Productions)

Abjects / Fruit Tones / Halfrican – Summer Slummin’ [FUZZKILL]

On Summer Slummin’, FUZZKILL Records bring together three of the UK’s finest garage rock misfits to soundtrack what remains of your sweaty solstice.

London trio Abjects link up with longtime label faves Fruit Tones (Manchester) and local boys Halfrican (Glasgow), with each band shouldering two tunes apiece.

Nobody’s beating about the bush – average song length on this split is a whiff over two minutes.

Fruit Tones bring the curtain up with cracking opener, ‘Night Bus Going Nowhere’.

Its chirpy, practice-room bounce recalls The Yummy Fur’s dorkier work from the mid-90s, but Fruit Tones marry this to a sunnier refrain than John McKeown’s outfit were ever wont to do.

After this entrée, Abjects serve up meatier fare on ‘Double Bind’ and ‘Messed Up’.

Of the three acts, Abjects sound the most confident and self-possessed on record – they know fine well they’re punching all your buns with a mere three chords and a shedload of fuzz.

Singer Noemi’s narcotic vocals, delivered primarily in Spanish, are the band’s USP; oddly hypnotic where the rest of the instrumentation is chaotic.

If you need some heavy similitude, listening to them feels like sleepwalking through a burning house.

But it’s Halfrican who prove themselves to be the poppiest amongst their peers, the “Angela-la-la” refrain of the eponymous track being the split’s catchiest hook by a Finnieston mile.

Each repetition is an instant hit of sugary bliss which – like a 10p mix on a hot summer evening – leaves you instantly craving another round.

Curation of this quality continues to cement FUZZKILL’s reputation as the premier purveyors of the UK’s punk rock underground.

Needless to say, their future releases – and those of the three bands on this split – thoroughly deserve your ongoing attention.

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Words: Graham Neil Gillespie

Fuzzkill <3 U – Valentine’s All Dayer featuring Peace and Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali, Breakfast MUFF, Fruit Tones, Halfrican, Sweaty Palms at Sleazy’s, 13/2/16

The first volume of Under The Covers was one of my favourite releases of last year, a trope of bands recorded their takes on, some classic and some relatively unheard, love songs for Fuzzkill Records Valentine’s Day compilation, so it was with great anticipation that I turned up the launch of the second edition of the compilation.

Unfortunately some unforeseen circumstances cause me to miss the first couple of hours, and even though I arrive at 7pm I have already missed three acts from a packed line up, still it’s a relief to see the Sleazy’s basement is healthily full when I arrive.

Label favourites Sweaty Palms are the first act I catch and the four-piece deliver a haunting set that drowns the captivated audience in reverb driven psychedelic vibes.

These guys featured our top 10 EPs of last year, with Hollywood Wax, and it appears from their live set that they’re just getting stronger, closing not on the cover of Bowie’s ‘China Girl’ they recorded for the compilation, but on Tammy Wynette’s ‘Stand By Your Man’, giving their nonchalant gothy pop vibes to the 60s classic.

Halfrican may have changed two thirds of their members in the last year, but the chilling urgency to their live set is still as present as ever as the duo draft in Holy Mountain’s Andy McGlone on bass duties for the evening.

Their intense sleazy pop is a highlight on a strong line up, and even though they fail in attempt to get Fuzzkill’s Ross Keppie on to sing the chorus, they do pull of the track of the night in an absolutely buzzing rendition of Van Halen’s ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’.

The first of two Manchester bands tonight, Fruit Tones capture a real energy, but don’t seem to generate as much buzz as the Glasgow acts before then, understandably so without the home crowd behind them, but it’s all sneery fun surf pop from a band who’s live performance quickly wins over the crowd and more than justifies their place this high up the bill.

Back with the Glasgow acts, and the last one of the night, as Breakfast MUFF pull off another addictive instrument swapping set, further cementing their place as one of the most exhilarating live prospects in the city.

Fast paced, squealing hooky fun that you just can’t walk away from, this is a band well worth seeing.

Tonight’s special guest headliners have just popped along from a support slot with PINS at The Hug and Pint and despite the daunting place of headlining such a strong and hectic bill Manchester’s Peace and Love Barbershop Muhammad Ali more than rise to the occasion.

Their pounding rhythms work with a sneered hooky vocal to give their sound a real dance floor dimension that’s more than addictive enough to have everyone remembering their name.

Another successful night from one of the most productive and consistently exciting labels in the city, and tonight’s release is all for charity too, looks like a pretty healthy donation going the way of Maryhill Foodbank and Refugee Action, buy the tape it’s a wee gem.

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Words: Iain Dawson
Photos: Elina Lin

Label Focus: Fuzzkill Records

Label Focus is a new feature on Rave Child where we plan to run regular articles highlighting those hard working folk that put out some of the best music in Scotland.

For the first edition we didn’t look further than fuzzy lo-fi fans Fuzzkill Records, who have had us hooked since their first release less than a year ago and now are less than a week away to their ninth and biggest release to date.

I caught up label co-starter, and the man who has contacted us from that first release in August last year, Ross Keppie for a wee chat before the launch of the labels seventh release, the Deathcats/Shithawks split tape Shit Death, at The Old Hairdressers for a wee chat to discuss the story of the label and what the future holds.

To go back to the start we need jump back a measly ten months to find friends, punishingly loud Highland act, CLEAVERS looking for a label and as the rather modest Keppie puts it “me and my pal Marshall (Brill) said we’d do it”.

Of course, before that saw the light of day the Shetland boys cut their teeth by firing out Brill’s band Frankeneinsten’s Volume 1 on cassette: “it’s trashy pop punk stuff but that’s Marshall’s band so we thought we’d start small with 25 tapes that we sold out”.

Keppie is first to admit that when they started Fuzzkill they did so with very little experience under their belt but feels that once they got into a routine it came reasonably easily, something that their prolific output in such a short time would suggest.

Of course these days the name Fuzzkill kind of goes hand in hand Glasgow based fuzz pop trio Deathcats, four of the labels nine releases to date includes the trio (a cassette EP, two split tapes and the upcoming full length).

Brill had previously been a promoter in Shetland and had brought Deathcats up to play and after partying with band Keppie asked them if they wanted to do a release, which has now blossomed into a fruitful partnership.

In fact Keppie, a music business student in his other capacity, admits his proudest moment while doing Fuzzkill happened a few moments before I met him, when James (McGarragle) from Deathcats handed him the test pressing of their upcoming full length, All Hail Deathcats; Fuzzkill’s first 12” vinyl release and easily their biggest release to date.

Previous to All Hail Deathcats all Fuzzkill’s releases has been limited runs, with a maximum of 75 tapes pressed for their biggest to date, Deathcats and Manchester act Fruit Tones thplit tape.

It’s also fairly interesting to note that none of their releases have been release on CD, sticking to tape for the majority of releases (mainly due to the cost of vinyl), but Keppie seems to like the charm of a tape despite them being a rather unpractical listening medium: “the thing with tapes are they’re good merch, I don’t know how many people listen to them, but they buy them and they look cool; they all come with download code anyway.”

A couple of releases, the upcoming full length and the CLEAVERS/The Kimberly Steaks split are available on vinyl – of course all the releases are still available in digital format via the Fuzzkill bandcamp and we would urge you to go make a purchase not just cos a few days after speaking to Keppie the Fuzzkill HQ (Keppie’s flat) was robbed and all the Fuzzkill money taken, but because their releases are of a bag of fun if you prefer your pop noisy and super lo-fi.

When it comes to money it seems that at this point in time is not something that bothers Keppie: “we make money but all it just goes into the next release or show, if I took money out of it I’d feel quite guilty; I’d love it to be a full time thing but at this stage it’s just an expensive hobby.”

Hobby or no hobby if your sound fits within the lo-fi punk, garage, noise pop bracket in Glasgow, or play music that Keppie takes a shine to then you’d not go far wrong by taking the opportunity to get your band’s name on a Fuzzkill tape, indeed the amount of acts approaching Keppie is increasing: “we get email quite a lot of emails from bands from Glasgow; as well as bands from Brazil, Scandinavia, Spain, France and up and down the UK.”

In terms of what’s the next step for Fuzzkill after the Deathcats album, Keppie is playing his cards fairly close to his chest: “There’s a lot of bands in Glasgow I’d like to work with so keep my options open with them before going overseas.

“We’ve got a couple of things lined up; maybe we should professionalise things a bit, we’ve got a few big releases planned, keep doing gigs, we’re starting a club night at Bloc but it’s pretty laid back.”

Still, we’re convinced on the evidence of their previous output that whatever is on the horizon will be worth checking out and these upcoming Bloc club night no doubt will be a riot.

Here’s a few things those on or involved with the Fuzzkill’s roster had to say:

Jon Anderson (Electric Company Music)

“Good lads who know how to throw good party; this is our first time licensing Future Glue’s music to a third party and we’ve been impressed with Fuzzkill’s handling of the track, the cassettes and with the organisation of the launch.

“From our chats with Ross, we know he wants to progress Fuzzkill to more than a bedroom project and if he continues as he is doing, he’ll have a chance of achieving those aims.”

James McGarragle (Deathcats)

“Since starting to work with Fuzzkill it’s been a really relaxed affair; there have been no contracts or stats etc, myself and Keppie just have chats about stuff and it’s been very casual, but at the same time I know that Keppie really cares about us and our music

“I really dig the fact that they have put out so many releases in their first year and put on a ton of great shows, a lot of folk want to start a label and sign one band that is going to do really well, Fuzzkill just want to constantly put out releases for bands that they care about.

“I’ve felt pretty involved with the label since Deathcats started working with Fuzzkill and that has been a good thing, it’s good to know that Ross will pretty much go a long with every idea we come up with as we’re on the same wave length with a lot of things and they’re happy with us doing our own thing – Fuzzkillas for life.”

Asian Babes

“When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favourite head up against the bathroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol’ Asian Babes always say at a time like that:”Have you paid your dues Fuzzkill?” “Yessir, the tapes are in the mail.””

Brundlehorse

“I’ve seen Ross dance at least three of our gigs and that boy has got some serious dance moves, admittedly most of them are more like stumbling lurching motions than moves, but in his defence I should point out that he’s not really in control of any of them.

“That he manages to run a record label is nothing short of bewildering, and I can only put this down to some kind of accident, even more bewildering is the fact that such an awesome collection of bands have found themselves affiliated with the label, and that Ross has somehow managed to organise gigs for them, suggesting that perhaps this is less the result of an accident and more indicative of the fantastic cosmic absurdity that is inherent in all aspects of life.

“ But seriously Ross put out our EP despite the fact it was pish and poorly recorded just because he could and just because he wanted to, that’s the Fuzzkill model, if it sounds good to him then he does his best to bring it to as wide an audience as possible. “The focus on the bands as part of a family (bands outwith Fuzzkill are regular cards on Fuzzkill shows) proves the respect and enjoyment other bands have for what Ross is doing – he’s a good egg, ken?”

Check out some Rave Child reviews of Fuzzkill releases below:

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Deathcats & Fruit Tones – Thplit Tape [Fuzzkill]

This latest release from Fuzzkill Records is an extremely rewarding listen.

It’s a split tape with many layers: carving an obscure niche somewhere between 1950s dancehall rock n’ roll and the laid-back surf pop of 1960s California.

Both artists have recorded high-energy performances rooted in these early genres, that only occasionally allow for more recent influences to push through.

This is a quick follow-up for Deathcats, who pull off an inspired performance of two-shoegaze tinged gems on their second release for Fuzzkill, after last December’s The Raddest.

The instrumental sections that end both ‘Dreamz’ and ‘Aligator’ showcase a great talent for building up a unique sound and the band has a well-timed knack for punctuating straightforward, well-written pop songs with thundering instrumental breaks that keep the listener guessing.

Fruit Tones provide an instant and welcoming lo-fi throwback to the era of true rock n’ roll.

Don’t expect the high production value of a Rolling Stones compilation; think more, Marty McFly astounding a 1950s dancehall by pounding some four-bar Chuck Berry licks through a tube amp.

‘Chicken Lollipop (It’s You)’ is dancehall filler of the best kind, with a vocal smoothly crooning over jangling guitar parts.

The standout track for Fruit Tones has to be ‘Just Feeling Lucky’, here, lively surf-pop is laid out with vocals that just ooze the laid-back cool of 60s surf Americana; before ‘Will My Life Live Without Me?’ brings the Thplit Tape home in a jukebox-splitting celebration of carefree surf Americana and rock n’ roll, with a driving rhythm section reminiscent of early hardcore punk recordings.

This release is great in presenting both Deathcats and Fruit Tones as standalone talents, while also bringing both artists into a coherent and unique compilation release that is well worth a listen.

Words: Tom Deering