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Now Hear This: Fuzztones | NYC

I'm getting caught up on the good albums that have come out lately. Like this one.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Garage rock revivalists The Fuzztones have put together an awe-inspiring homage to their home city by covering some of the best bands to come out of NY’s vaunted music scene!

NYC includes Rudi Protrudi & co.’s special twist on classics by The Ramones, The Cramps, Dead Boys, The Heartbreakers, The Fugs, Mink DeVille, Patti Smith, NY Dolls and, of course, Sinatra’s New York, New York! Says Rudi: “New York has always been at the core of the Fuzztones entity, so what better way to celebrate 40 years of fuzz than a tribute to the music that drew us there?”

The Fuzztones have certainly achieved legendary status as cult faves during their 36 year career. Their fiery brand of garage-psych punk predated the entire “Garage Revival” of the 1980s and has influenced hundreds of groups, from The Hives to The Horrors. Born in the summer of 1980 in the bowels of NYC’s Lower East Side, The Fuzztones were soon regulars at legendary NYC hotspots such as CBGB and The Mudd Club. By utilizing the fuzzbox (an antiquated effects pedal used by many 60’s groups to achieve overly distorted “psychedelic” guitar sounds), the band created a raunchy sound they referred to as “Grunge”… (On their 1984 debut single Bad News Travels Fast, lead guitarist Elan Portnoy is credited as playing “lead grunge”, at least a decade before the Seattle Grunge invasion), and the band were nicknamed “The Gurus of Garage Grunge.”

Complete with paisley and leather attire, genuine human bone necklaces, The Fuzztones influenced the fashions of musicians as diverse as The Hoodoo Gurus (who also modified the Fuzztones’ infamous skull and crossed Vox Phantom guitars logo for use on one of their album covers) to Ian Astbury and Marc Almond (who aped The Fuzztones by wearing black turtlenecks with bone necklaces) to The Dwarves, whose X-rated logo was stolen from the FuzztonesLysergic Ejaculations cover. Mudhoney member Mark Arm has cited frontman Rudi Protrudi as a main influence. German superstars Die Artze even sport Fuzztones T-shirts in their promo photos, as do platinum-selling Finnish rockers 69 Eyes. The band’s classic video for Ward 81 even inspired the legendary Ramones, whose Psychotherapy video copies several scenes directly from the Fuzztones’ masterpiece, as did the glitter-rock docu-film Velvet Goldmine.