HOWLING GIANT: Black Hole Space Wizard Part 1

This Nashville band has managed to sidestep the horrors of country music and find fuzz boxes and power that the bumpkins could only dream of having. I mean, with a name like Howling Giant, what would you expect? The band sounds like a mad creature wailing away….perfect!

This is thick, dense like talking to your parents when you are a teen, and heavy as balls to boot. The songs are catchy, and fuzzier than a Georgia peach, or your chin when you hit puberty and thought it was cool to grow out those billy-goat hairs. The band plays with conviction, talent and energy, plus writes songs that are just good. The mix of fuzz, prog and hard rock make for a terrific mix that sticks in your head long after you have stopped listening. The production is a little claustrophobic, but it really works because if everything was clean and clear, it would lose the monolithic devastation that has been created. These four songs go by quickly, even thought they aren’t short, because they are a treat to listen to.

This is one of those albums that you need to put on, open the windows, and blow your neighbors away with the massive sounds on display. Grab a copy of this album now…..what are you waiting for?


WE’VE GOT A FUZZBOX AND WE’RE GONNA USE IT!!: Bostin Steve Austin (Splendiferous Edition): CD

After twenty-seven years, the debut album by FUZZBOX finally is released on not one, but two CDs, in its expanded Splendiferous Edition. The first CD is the original complete twelve track album remastered and the second CD is filled with bonus material like  the band’s debut EP XX Sex/Rules and Regulations, their collaboration single with Vindaloo label mates, THE NIGHTINGALES and Ted Chippington,”Rockin’ With Rita (Head To Toe)”,  B-sides from their UK Top 40 single “Love Is The Slug”, single “What’s The Point”, their version of QUEEN’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the fan club rarity “Radio Fuzzbox”, together with single exclusive B-sides, 12-inch versions and the previously unreleased “XX Sex (Gully Mix)” and “Light Of The Silvery Moon”. Holy hell,what a release!

This four piece hit the dour mid-80s indie scene and infused it with bright colors, enthusiasm over skill, and fun. I remember flipping through the NME, Sounds and Melody Maker and being intrigued by this group, what did they sound like, would they be any good and how can I get a hold of their music all ran through my head. Luckily, I lived in a large city that was close to an even larger city with a great radio station and they played the song “What’s The Point” and I knew that I must own the album by any means possible, so off on the bus to the big city of Toronto to pick up the twelve-inch single and the debut album, much happiness was felt that day. I played the hell out of the album and single, and I was lucky to see the video of “What’s The Point” on the twenty-four hour video channel Much Music. This re-release brings back all of those memories and for that I thank Cherry Red for putting this out finally.

The album has been beautifully remastered, everything sounds crisp and clear, the CD booklet features lyrics to the original album, personal pictures of the band and sleeve notes from the band’s drummer Tina who gives a very frank and honest opinion about the album and the bonus tracks, “€˜Some of the €˜bonus€™ tracks on this are diabolical and really should have been destroyed at birth!! Sorry a€˜bout that!”. I can see what she means with “Fuzzy Ramblings” being a track of the band just talking and it’s interesting to hear once, but not something that I would play again, but you do get fun songs like their cover of “Fever”, the a capella version “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and covering a bunch of 50s songs on “Fuzzy Faves”.

This is a great re-release and I am so glad to hear it again, I’m going to have this stuck in my CD player for a long time. It’s sad that In 2012 guitarist Jo Dunne passed away of cancer after the band had reformed and didn’t get to see this release and enjoy life longer…damn you cancer!