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How to be retro and great at the same time!!!!
Oh boy, this is an amazing band, kids. It's a true lesson on how to write retro rock/metal without any restraints. It's not gimmicky, there's no flutes or a dude dressed like an evil pope. The young trio is from the Mecca of American doom, Maryland and while there's clear influences from the heavy weights from this scene, they're truly something new.
Beelzefuzz is full of colors they're very hard to classify and that's quite fun in their case. This 5 tracks demo is very good and shows great promise for this band. Like their name indicates, it's fuzzy but it's also quite melodic. The sound is rich and I was surprised to learn that they were only 3 dudes. The vocalist/guitarist/leader Dana Ortt is a genuine talent and he's the true driving force. The whole demo completely blew me away with songs like ''Lotus Jam'' or ''Hardluck Melody''. While it's doom, I can't really feel the omnipresent imprint of Black Sabbath in their sound. There's a decent NWOBHM influence especially in the vocals and some of the more melodic riffs, but the main thing I sensed in Beelzefuzz is the overt psychedelic and hard rock influences. These guys are definitely big fans of Led Zep, T-Rex, Cream or Steppenwolf but they mixed this love for the golden era of rock with Judas Priest and doom metal. The demo while not quite heavy or even not totally metal totally pays off with its slow groovy numbers like the opening track ''Peace Mind'', it's sexy, comforting and alluring. I do feel like in an hippie harem full of scantily eunuchs on drugs, probably mushrooms or acid. There's a fountain full of Champagne or Mountain Dew in the middle of the huge tent, I won't try it personally but these guys probably did.
You can feeeeeeel the love in their music, it's not dark at all. The riffs are often joyous, it's like if their whole world ignored that grunge and self-hatred was once something popular. Yeah, even Dave Grohl realized that but his music is inane, at least he teamed up with John Paul Jones to create groovy stuff in Them Crooked Vultures! Talking of grunge I can't say they ignored the 90s phenomenon completely. Dana's voice can be compared to Staley, Cornell or Vedder a bit but on super Silver Sour Diesel Haze or whatever drug that makes him happy. I usually dislike happy music but this is a totally great ''I'm on the patio with a cold beer during a sunny summer day'' kind of band and I can appreciate that. Their retro rock formula works and they don't need dildos and bullplugs to make it worthwhile.
I can't really complain about anything on their first demo. It got the right amount of diversity for a short release and the production is quite professional. However, the vocal melodies really made the band for me, like this fucking awesome chorus on ''The Soulless''. Dana is a very charismatic leader, his nasal and clean vocals are damn good and a huge asset for his band. While the music isn't technical at all, the riffs are enjoyable and there's some interesting leads here and there like on the aforementioned track. It's very groovy (not groove metal, you idiot, groovy like Robert Plant smoking hash). There's a vintage richness in the production and the songwriting that is hard to find these days. Indeed, it sounds authentic, just like the old Jefferson Airplane's vinyl that you used to listen to when you were visiting your ''weird'' aunt who used to do coke with Jerry Garcia while she was molding his penis. Well that's what she said anyway, but she always was a bit weird in a funny and captivating way. A silly but apt comparison to describe Beelzefuzz. It's fun without omitting to write actual great and enjoyable songs. The 5 songs are terribly catchy and quite short but they flow so well. It's never too fast or too slow, there's no need to speed up the songs to find them gratifying. Their second demo is a bit heavier and generally more metal and it's as good. I usually spin them together and I personally can't wait to hear their first full length album out this year.
To conclude, this demo has a gorgeous atmosphere, superb vocals and very catchy riffs. If you think you like psychedelic doom metal/hard rock with some bluesy vintage influences, these guys are for you. If their album is as good as I expect it to be, kids, they'll become one of my favorite bands and a very important one for the big Maryland scene.
Check out Beelzefuzz, guys ! If you can't find the demos, send me a shout and I'll help ya!
Check it out on my blog for some extra colors and pics!