When I checked the track list I did a double take as I thumbed down the tracks wondering how these purveyors of wee small hors garage rockers were going to take on the tunes or had I just imagined that Rudi had finally lost his shit and gone for songs I’ve never heard but on the first play, I was on my feet shaking my head grooving like a good un because God damn it Them Fuzztones had only gone and knocked this one out of the park and just when you thought they’d bitten off more than they could chew they would only go and raise the bar a little higher. I mean c’mon, sure going for The Fugs is something I could see, or even the fine rendition of ‘Dancing Barefoot’ closing off the record is done with the utmost respect and perfectly in keeping with the idea that The Fuzztones were going to own this record take these songs and lovingly recreate them into their own unique fuzzed up slice of the big apple.
Opening with a Sinatra classic and making it jive and groove will raise an eyebrow and get people talking but hitting Wayne County ‘Flip Your Wig’ was perhaps more predictable and with the familiar Fuzztones organ honking away towards the chorus its a decent stab but its quite safe. Again The fuzztones tackling the Cramps is a no-brainer and ‘New Kind Of Kick’ is respectfully carved up.
Hold onto your hats kids because their reconstruction of The Ramones ’53rd & 3rd’ is spectacular and I love it. they’ve nailed the chorus and the vocal delivery from Protrudi is brilliant. ‘Psilocybe’ is spooktacular and then the band let their collective hair down and crack open the harmonica on ‘Skin Flowers’.
I guess the songs I gravitated to the most were The Dead Boys and Dolls tracks so when I heard ‘High Tension Wire’ begin I sat back and appreciated that Rudi and the gang had really excelled on this one with a particularly good vocal. Sure ‘Babylon’ had the organs turned up to eleven and a suitably trashy take on a classic is duly delivered.
Its fair to say I was a bit surprised to see a Blue Oyster Cult track nestled in between some classics and its dwarfed by the version of Mink De Villes ‘Let Me Dream’ which I think pips the original for the groovy guitar work and the harmonica is excellent and whisper it but Rudi Petrudi is having a ball with the vocals.
‘Microdot’ is a take on ‘Chinese Rocks’ and given a royal garage psychedelic wipe down. but the one track I wanted to be done well more than any on offer here was the Dead Boys ‘ Not Anymore’ and its twisted a little by being sped up but the haunting feel is still intact and the lyrics still sound amazing. Could The Fuzztones all take a bow here because they’ve really stepped up here and the reconstructing of some seriously classic songs has really worked well. Leaving only the Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers rare track ‘You Gotta Lose’ being worked over out the back yard with only a switchblade knife between the original and this take and then ‘Dancing Barefoot’ wafts in on a cloud of mysterious substances like some ’60s black and white B movie.
Protrudi & Co have sealed this l-u-v letter with a kiss and swanned off having taken their curtain call and been called back for an encore that they throughly deserve. To be fair they’ve owned each and every song here and have goven every one the Fuzztones make over and come up trumps because to cover a song and do it justice is a tricky thing but to do it for a whole album is really taking a risk and for and The Fuzztones deserve to own these classics – #Never forget your roots kids and never forget to tip your hat to those who paved the way and gave you the lifeblood coursing through your veins. The Fuzztones – ‘NYC’ was never in doubt, was it. Rudi, the Big Apple loves ya man it’s at the core of what you do and you’ve paid your respect in the best most fuzzed-up way. – Buy It!
Buy ‘NYC’ Here
Author: Dom Daley