French garage oiks Fuzzy Vox have hit the UK radar pretty hard due to the recent support slot around these shores with The BellRays. Health stopped me attending any of the dates, but the not so subtle word on the street went something like – “FUZZY VOX ARE FUCKING AWESOME!” No Landing Plan was originally released in 2016 but has received the reissue treatment on vinyl with added bonus tracks courtesy of German label Kidnap Music. If the live accolades were anything to go by, then this would be one hell of a record.
The opening three onslaughts, care of Explosion of Love, Distracted and Told You Before, left me scratching my head. Not in bad way, but more of a “who do these guys remind me of?” Then the penny dropped. RANDY! For those who don’t remember Randy, those crazy Swedes often played second fiddle to The Hives but were equally as awesome, especially with The Human Atom Bombs album in 2001. I digress somewhat, but Fuzzy Vox share the same spirit of fun, garage punk tuneage with jaunty Wilko Johnson guitars that split the speakers.
The NME might well have gushed over Fuzzy Vox in the aforementioned timeframe, on none more so than Grow Evil. Well, before it turns into a deep swamp monster full of riffs. The French threesome also turn warped balladeers on A Reason to Love. It’s a 60s inspired tune that makes you wanna sneak into Tony Blackburn’s BBC studio and slip it in the middle of his Pick of the Pops playlist.
Side A closes with the first of two bonus tracks; namely a cover of The Easybeats’ Good Times. Cue the trumpets for a soul shakedown, and who’s what? Only Lisa Kekaula from The BellRays! These boys must have bollocks as big as medicine balls to trade off with Lisa’s huge vocal range, but they stand their ground and it’s a blistering take.
The soulfulness continues overleaf, maybe more to the Blue Eyed type with added guitars on Don’t Leave Me Behind. The latter parts of the LP could even be accused of leaning towards the fun aspects of Britpop with Easy Street and They Shot Charlie. The penultimate Bo Diddley pays tribute with a rock ‘n’ roll shuffle to, err, well, Bo Diddley, before bonus track number two; a cover of The Norvins’ Just Hate To Be Your Man.
No Landing Plan is album that appeals to the garage underground as much as it could appeal to the modern day festival overground. Fuzzy Vox are gaining new friends and they thoroughly deserve it. I’m off to pry the broken up-and-over garage door with a rusty crowbar in preparation for shaking my tail feather with Fuzzy Vox booming from an Artex splattered ghetto blaster that time forgot. You should join me, it’s gonna be ace. Ginge Knievil
Check out Fuzzy Vox here