Fuzz Lord
Fuzz Lord

The state of Ohio has given us everything from legendary hardcore bands to the filthiest sludge bands to sickening grindcore and a little bit of anything and everything in between.  Latest to the lineage is pummeling doom-toned, 70s proto-metal hard rockers Fuzz Lord.  After a killer LP release in 2014 (The Key in Silence) the band quieted on the recording front, taking four long years to bring forth a sophomore LP.  It was worth the wait as its pounding, pummeling grooves, hard liner riffs, gruff vocals and progressive textures deliver the good in spades.  Ever wanted to hear spaghetti western soundtracks meet heaving blues doom molasses?  Well, here’s your answer!

Instrumental opener “The Gates of Hell” sees the band working at a high technical level for the genre; trippy, ascending/descending clean chord patterns, squeals of feedback, soft cymbal taps and hypnotic bass lines give way to mountain moving riffs and backbreaking rhythms in the key of Mountain, Blue Cheer, Cali titans Floating Goat, Church of Misery, the first High on Fire masterpiece and mighty Maryland doom masters like Internal Void and Spirit Caravan.  The whole package is all knife-edge groove and sweaty brow swagger with an unusual amount of texture for a riff focused, hard rock band in 2018.  As it rides off high in the saddle into a scorching orange sunset the gunslinger clean ricochets return at the opening of “Kronos Visions Arise.”  Soon guitarist Steve “Fuzz Lord” rips into a treacherous, damn near thrash-y riff pounded into place by the jackhammering fills of drummer/vocalist Lawrence “Lord Buzz” and remaining permanently head down thanks to the walking, fluid runs of bassist/vocalist Stoner Dan Riley.  The lead-in is lengthy and constantly shuffles the trippy Ennio Morricone strangeness with dirty, ugly guitar grit that’s got a nasty Matt Pike bent to it.  Once the stop/start workout subsides the gravel chewing sung vocals spit bile in every direction as the swing morphs into a hammering, low slung blues hoedown that flips skyward into an energetic hardcore doom riff nirvana.  These guys are certainly 10 times heavier than your average garden variety stoners.

If anybody’s heard Floating Goat’s monstrous three albums Heaven’s Burning, The Vultures Arrive and The Spawn of Poseidon, that’s your absolute closest comparison point…just replace the weird, drippy psychedelic western backdrops of Fuzz Lord with more fuzzy 70s psyche backdrops and the painting of the vibe should be complete and you’ll know the difference between the two.  Steve’s extensive soloing in the outro of this track is an absolutely harrowing, nerve-shredding affair that leads the rhythm section to pound hard then drop off into these completely abyssal quiet moments full of gully deep tom drums and bottomless bass licks before they rip into the next segment of pulverizing riff rock thunder.

“The Warriors who Reign” opts for a sparser, slower melodic intro that is eviscerated when a murderous, bandito butchering power groove enters complimented by road burning biker rhythms and sandpaper sweet Lemmy-style vocals.  While the ground quaking riffage reckons of Victor Griffin, Wino and Tony Iommi, the psycho prog solo interjections are far more from the school of Rush or King Crimson.  Shedding the majority of the band’s intricate complexities “The Lord of the Underworld” is pure punk/metal abandon that’s all head down, bulldozers rolling down Main Street crunch with the exception of its mind frying solo breaks.  This could have been right off of Ace of Spades and I might not have batted an eye.  The intro riffs to “Evil Infamy” sounds like someone let loose Church of Misery’s museum of serial killers to run wild and slice n’ dice all of the members of the general public.  It’s a completely classic swing done up with a fresh twist as the riffs sink down into creeping palm-muted silence until the winds kick up again and big, ultraviolet radiation blues riffs again tower over the speck that is man.  Cutthroat double kick drumming, gut-ripping solos and the lowest, burliest bass licks known to man send the tune off into the mouth of Hell as it winds to its foundation cracking climax.

Returning to the tumbleweed streaked cowpaths of Dodge City, the stirrup sore clean guitars of “Worlds Collide” are interrupted by beer bloated doom riffs and overdriven rhythmic punches that careen into another showstopping groove shuffle that takes the groundwork laid by Sabbath and heavies it up into a whole ‘nother dimension.  Leads, solos and buckshot guitar attacks unfold over the molten 4/4 rhythms as everything evaporates into another hazy atmospheric smokeout that takes the song to its gracious, slothful doom finale.  Another instrumental “The Fall of Fate” plays out much like the intro did, leaving the album to wrap up with the sidewinding, riff dealing “Infamous Evil” which once again sees Steve steal the show with his constant flux of blues boogie woogie, screaming solos and melodic leads.

Fuzz Lord’s Self-Titled is a powerhouse.  I think even seasoned hard rock groove vets should find something to impress them here.  Hell, I could be wrong but the sheer overpowering guitar work, star dwarfing rhythm section and slimy songwriting dichotomy blend constantly kept me in the fight even when the music falls back on the genre’s oldest traditions.  This blows away their debut and makes me hope I’ll get a chance to see the band live one day.




Written by Jay S.

May 29th, 2018

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
June 21st, 2018


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