Album Review - Myles Deck & The Fuzz

By Dan Nightingale

Getting ready for the LLTQ Festival Fundraiser this Friday?
This should get you in the mood...

MYLES DECK & THE FUZZ - You Can't Heal A Sick Riff
Album Review

You Can't Heal a Sick Riff starts off with a long single note build up before launching into a mashup of Stooges attitude and vintage garage/surf guitar picking. Shouted back up vocals recall punk classics like the Ramones, but the sound is fresh and complex. This short and sweet intro barely gives you enough to time to grab onto something before piling into “Fan Mail,” a driving blues rock tale of band fame and groupies from the opposite perspective that you might expect from a swaggering rock band.

The best part of Myles Deck and Fuzz is probably that they fulfill all your punk/garage/rock n' roll desires without seeming cliché or repetitive. The bass driven, hand clap boogie bridge of “Fan Mail” shows that the band knows how to groove, not just bash and smash. Bassist Al Hoskins keeps the band moving without ever missing a single beat, giving vocals and guitars plenty of place to move around in the rhythmic space.

The vocals are obviously an important part of a band named after a front man, and while the lyrics are best appreciated to provide appropriate rock and roll content (“Don't you know you make it easy / for me to walk right out that door,” or the excellent “Her tommy gun tongue shootin' down my defenses “ from “Hot Tongue, Cold Shoulder”), the arrangements are slick and help the songs stick in your brain. Some of the vocal delivery seems a little flat emotionally, but it almost makes the band seem cooler – you can picture Deck wearing sun glasses and slouching while he sings these songs at you, the coolest kid on the block that everyone wants to be like – but their dads won't let them play in the garage.

“Holy Roller” shows off more great rolling basslines and tightly synced guitar runs. The guitar tone is crunchy and doesn't loose any punch when it heads off from chords to lead riffs, which is pretty crucial for a single guitar band. “Good Books” shows off a higher vocal range which gives the band a more modern, 00's indie band edge . The song is in the almost ballad range,though it would have a higher contrast to the rest of the album if the tempo on the other songs wasn't all ready a bit slower than standard punk rock – not that this is a complaint; I find the less frenzied snare drum and spaces between beats a welcome change from the “fast as we can” attitude to new punk/garage bands.

“Ice Blue Metal,” however, provides the perfect exception to the above as it kicks things back into the balls-to-the-wall mode complete with quirky guitar solos and blurring bass runs. The song runs under 2 minutes before returning to the catchy riffing of the similarly lengthed “Billy the Kid,” complete with doo wop back up vocals that might please the Zappa fan and provides a great mash up of all the Fuzz's various influences.

The album definitely delivers on it's promise of sick riffs, and not just from guitars but from drums, bass, and vocals too. While it's a great album to nod your head and sing along to, it's really more of an attempt to capture the band's live show, I think – being loud and outrageous is a crucial element of the songs, and it's easier to over look the short songs and same-ish tempos and tones when you're jumping up and down and Myles Deck is shouting in your face while swinging a mic stand around.

Overall this album is a great piece for any fan of good time, party hard rock and roll, and impressive musicianship from all across the board warrants repeat listens, but the best experience of Myles Deck and the Fuzz is likely to come at their live show. The band clearly has major potential in the record area, though, and I'm really looking forward to future output from these guys, when they start to get a little more experimental and maybe combine the ultra-tight riffage with some other instrumentation and some thicker production.

Check them out this Friday, January 14th at Gus' pub for the Long Live the Queen Fundraiser for all the action.


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