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What do you get when you combine the influence of '60s British beat-groups (think The Beatles, The Kinks, The Who, The Small Faces) with the added effect of an aggressive blues base? Officially, as of the '70s, you’d have yourself a whole new genre of garage-rock, better known as punk-rock. Held with the mostly underground notion that bands making garage-rock were young and inexperienced groups dwindling away time in their garages, the popularity of this genre (or lack thereof) had been sparse throughout the decades that were due to follow. This is where we welcome the late '90s/early noughties, when garage-rock linked arms with post-punk revival and bands like The Strokes, The Hives and The White Stripes and broke into mainstream airplay and commercial success that had been previously unheard of.
Also to reap the benefits of garage-rock revival came the second wave of 'indie' bands such as The Libertines, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Arctic Monkeys, The Datsuns and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs among many other popular names. Cue hard rock & rollers The Phuss, formed in Fort Worth, Texas in 2008, adding a third member to complete the line-up in 2010. Signed to indie label Do For It Records and consisting of front man and guitarist Josh Fleming, Trey Alfaro on drums and bassist Forrest Barton, does their 2012 nine-track, self-titled LP, have the potential to boost them into the throngs of the best of the garage-rock bands? I’d take bets on it being a high possibility. Here are my four top tracks: the opener,'You Oughta Know'; with, throaty, glam-rock-esque power vocals and melodies, shrill guitar riffage, precise drumming and dominating bass, we’re catapulted into the album with a screamy, pure rock intensity that's dripping in as much as energy as it is in the sweat I would assume was lost during the recording of the album and their live shows.
'The Romantic' follows with a bassline that wouldn't be lost on a White Stripes track, it's a bluesy, kinky, sexy little number where Fleming's vocals are so seductive it's hypnotising. During 'Something To Die For' the guys experiment with a union of roaring punk/heavy metal/'70s rock and roll; a punchy track with a sporadic rhythm. And last but not least, the closing track '21 Ain't What It Was' reminds me a whole lot of the Arctic Monkeys, although, dare I say it, a lot more enticing. Overall The Phuss’ sophomore album doesn't have a bad track out of the bunch and these guys have given it 100% to make a record worth listening to whilst being stylistically bold enough to churn out more than just pretentious modern indie. Formerly unaware of them, I can tell you with confidence, I’m now a fan, and I'm glad to have found out what the fuss is with The Phuss. Rock on!
The Phuss' website
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