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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Beat Album of the Week

Contrary to the flaccid protestations of contemporary royalists - who see the House of Windsor as some sort of perpetually stable institution, forever providing a moral, social and political crucible for a population yearning for stability - the English monarchy has itself been in a state of regular re-invention for its entire thousand-odd year history. With the monarchy currently struggling under the weight of the cult of celebrity, now is the time for Chuck, Bill and Harry to think seriously about where to from here.

That direction could, if only a bit of lateral thought was applied, be toward aKingdom Of Fuzz. Sure, the English monarchy has about as much empathy with fuzzed-out guitars and gut-busting garage riffs as Sarah Ferguson has with the mushy tinned peas and tepid mashed potato served up in the average council estate residence, but hope can still spring eternal.

And where better to start that process of re-invention than YIS's debut long-player, Kingdom Of Fuzz? Kingdom Of Fuzz has got everything a contemporary monarchical institution needs to stay relevant: Message offers up plundering riffs tougher than a western suburbs back pocket player working off an insult to the sanctity of his fledgling marriage, Stop-Go smears the angular college punk of Devo with a thick dose of industrial strength garage attitude, Lizardman is cartoon framed Digger And The Pussycats rock 'n' roll writ large and Trevor Block Rocking Beats affords Melbourne's iconic man-about-town the slick rock treatment and popular song status he's spent 30 years acquiring.

(I Feel) Repulsed is a new wave fly in the album's prevailing garage rock ointment, replete with dazzling synthesiser melody and emphatic pop vocals; by way of radical contrast, the succeeding Baby Come On is down, dirty and depraved, a viscous mix of polluted rock licks and defensive emotional pleadings, before Burning Well takes us down the bruising and painful path of introspection, with nothing but the ghost of Sonic's Rendezvous and early Asteroid B-612 to ease the pain.

By the time Injin locks into its vice-like instrumental groove, YIS' Kingdom Of Fuzz is looking better than a Tennessee distillery to Keith Richards; I Wanna Go Home is the proverbial icing on the cake, a rough and ready blend of powerpop spiced with Ramones philosophical underpinnings.

Kingdom Of Fuzz actually has bugger all to do with the future of the House of Windsor. But the fact that it doesn't says everything about the irrelevance of the monarch, and even more about just how fucking good this record is.

If you like this: Superfuzz Bigmuff MUDHONEY, Funhouse THE STOOGES


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