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How a band presents themselves is of the utmost importance, and perhaps more important than ever, in an internet generation with the over-saturation of shit that plagues MySpace and the world wide web in general. I mean, a band requires that something extra in their presentation that warrants attention to encourage music fans to delve beneath initial impressions and check out the actual music. First impressions count for a lot in this sense. Hookah the Fuzz have a shit band name and some ever so dodgy song titles. Those two factors formed my first impression and if I didn't have to review this disc then I doubt I would've progressed to the music itself. Very fucking fortunately I did for Hookah the Fuzz, shit band name and song titles aside, are simply incredible. The press sheet makes references to "the musical mastery of Dream Theater, the thrash of Metallica and the melodious approach of Devin Townsend" - add to that an element of Mike Patton derangement with a discernible Faith No More influence, and throw in some other random elements such as the quasi-folk metal intro to opening track 'D(Illusion)', all executed with total precision on drums, bass, guitars and keyboards within the context of some mightily fucking amazing songwriting, and you have yourself a band that is most worthy of your attention. Seriously, I jest not, Hookah the Fuzz, based on this debut release, show more potential and compositional maturity than most other bands of such a young age (and some established acts), and they might very well be the best British band to burst onto the scene in the last decade. Most astonishing is their ability, both through performance and songwriting, to seamlessly combine and switch between so many different musical styles and elements. Where many bands fail in this dynamic (fellow Brits Haken are a recent example that spring to mind), Hookah the Fuzz achieve a progressive essence in their music through such aforementioned diversity although it never appears stilted or contrived (go listen to Haken if you want to hear stilted and contrived). Quite frankly, I'm blown away, so much so that by the end of the album I even find myself liking that damn band name. Okay, maybe it's not so shit and will get them the attention they deserve. I certainly hope so. A band comprised of musicians as evidently talented as those in Hookah the Fuzz also deserve respect for the restraint they show at all the right moments, only letting rip with bursts of musical virtuosity as and when the songs require more technical flourishes. And vocalist Si Jefferies (also rhythm guitarist) has a wide ranging voice, incorporating Hetfield-esque singing, a mellower ballad-esque voice over the songs' quieter passages, sporadic death growls, and some Patton style low tones. In short, I urge you to go check out Hookah the Fuzz immediately to sample the delights of the music for yourself. Oh, did I mention it's also got a heavy dose of groove that would even make Mike Muir pull up his socks and leap around to the infectious rhythms? Incredible stuff. Watch out for this lot. I predict they'll be big. All labels, pay attention.
Review by Mark Holmes
1) D(Illusion)
2) The Girl Do Voodoo
3) Skin and Bones
4) Preachers Suck More
5) Camp Refoogee
6) Munchkin Fever
7) Addict
8) Hang the Hooker
"...they might very well be the best British band to burst onto the scene in the last decade."