Fuzzy Charts: Every month we write about your favorite albums!
We brought back the Fuzzy Charts to make a monthly poll of the albums that left a mark in YOUR ears. If you’re not familiar with it by now, the votes are happening in our Fuzz Temple group on Facebook, every beginning of the month, for the releases of the previous month.
Like last month, Mr. Fuzz and I were super busy and couldn’t find so much time to write (I still have my interviews and report from Down The Hill to publish), so we’re doing the results of August and the votes of September together again. I’m not so convinced by this timeline, but somehow it looks like it had a good impact, please tell us what you think in the comments, here, or on our socials, I will never say this enough, but these Fuzzy Charts are for you, and about you, so your feedback can only help us make it better.
Following our drive from the last months, this article is a collaborative work from the team, involving this time Mr. Fuzz, Mr. Void, Mr. Witchfinder, and myself. This one has been a bit challenging since we published almost no reviews in the past two months, none of these releases has been previously reviewed on More Fuzz so far.
You might have gotten used to it the last few months, so once again, I made a Spotify Playlist with all of these cool albums. Head over there for 8,5 hours of the best of August’s fuzzy music!
We want to see which albums really got into the audience’s ears and if we missed some gems. That’s also a good way to inventory everything that went out in a month, giving some light to some records that might have gone unnoticed otherwise.
Like last month, we are launching the votes for last month at the same time, strangely, even with a month of votes, the numbers were not higher than usual. The votes for September have just been launched in the Fuzz Temple group, so please head over there (or click on the link below) to cast your votes for your favorite albums of last month.
You can vote for as many albums as you want to, and also add some if you don’t find them in there, you only need to respect one rule:
The albums need to have been released in the last month (so September for this one).
Don’t hesitate to share this post or the poll directly because the more we are, the better it will represent what we all listened to this month!
Here are finally the results of this poll, for the month of August, enjoy!
Top 11 Albums of August 2021
Lower numbers this month, and tighter counts, which is kind of normal considering the releases of the month, but still a super diverse and interesting list!
9 ex–æquo: Low Flying Hawks – FUYU (4pts)
FFO: Jesu, Holy Fawn, Thee Silver Mt. Zion
Low Flying Hawks is a duo of multi-instrumentalists from Texas, with some serious references as they regularly include the drummer of The Melvins and the bass player of Mr. Bungle, no less. FUYU (winter, in Japanese), is their third LP and the conclusion of a trilogy of beautiful, dark, and very emotionally charged albums. They are evolving on the fence between genres, melting doom, shoegaze, sludge, grunge, and ambient as their main ingredients, with sprinkles of other influences here and there to give some nuances and extra coloration to each track. The sound is really grounded in doom, but as dark as it might seem, they always manage to lift up the mood.
I find the band name really on the point, as these blissful melodies give me indeed the feeling of flying, just above a sea of darkness, feeling it without diving head-on, contemplating peacefully, gliding on those winds of despair. As the title suggests, this album is even more melancholic than usual, but this is also the beauty of this blend. They manage to reach the aeriality of post-rock without ever really being post-rock, they embody the slowness and suffering of doom while staying too dreamy to fit this label properly. This will definitely be a companion of choice for my usual winter blues in a couple of months.
Blurb by Mr. Stone.
9 ex–æquo: Little Jimi – The Cantos (4pts)
FFO: Fuzz, Mr. Bison, All Them Witches
The Bordeaux-based psychedelic trio enters the fuzzy chart with its second album entitled The Cantos. Supported by French masters Mars Red Sky – both bands come from the same city – Little Jimi progressively makes a name for itself in the French heavy scene, with its rich fuzzy rock.
The Cantos works as a sonic initiation, fueled by the grand diversity of inspirations that makes the originality of Little Jimi’s music: 70’s psychedelia, garage spirit, crushing doom passages, and even some space rock blasts!
The result is a modern and mesmeric odyssey as if Little Jimi were crafting its own musical mythology. Can’t wait for their next adventures!
Blurb by Mr. Void.
9 ex–æquo: Hour of 13 – Black Magick Rites (4pts)
If you like old-school doom, don’t go any further, this is your fix of the month! This Quintet from North Carolina reformed this year after a 7-year hiatus to bring us another of those pure traditional occult doom albums. They still deliver a kickass brew of classic doom, riffing slowly but efficiently, the drums ticking like a swiss clock, while the singer chanting on death, macabre, and other dark topics.
If you don’t know them already, I invite you to at least listen to this one, even if, like me, this style is not your favorite. This name might not be the most famous, but it is a cornerstone in the last two decades for this. Their take on it is very concept-oriented and you can really feel it in the atmosphere and the lyrics. It might not be the most original out there, but they are taking their task very seriously, and it shows in the result.
Blurb by Mr. Stone.
8: The Ugly Kings – Strange, Strange Kings (5pts)
FFO: Queen of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood
The Aussies The Ugly Kings are back with their 2nd full-length, and it’s always a pleasure to listen to these guys! A diverse but still very cohesive album that would need a full review to deep dive into each track.
With some obvious QOTSAesque darker vibes, Arctic Monkeys grooves, and Royal Blood heavy riffage, they created a very fine cocktail that places them perfectly well in the modern Heavy Rock scene. Add on top of these great influences their own magic spices, and you have a very digestible and interesting album from start to finish.
And even if the instrumental section of The Ugly Kings is clever and efficient, once again, a great singer propels the whole sound to another level, that’s the case with Russell Clark. A sexy crooner voice that can go from soothing and deep moments to some grittier ones, while never over-exaggerating it, that’s what we want to hear!
Blurb by Mr. Fuzz.
7: Sons of Alpha Centauri – Push (6pts)
FFO: Deftones, Will Haven, Cave In, Unsane
Sons of Alpha Centauri is celebrating their 20 years of existence, and they took this opportunity to operate some BIG changes in their sound. You probably know the UK veterans already, from any of their amazing instrumental post-rock-infused heavy psych albums, or their collaborations with Yawning Man or Karma To Burn (to only name a couple). Well, hang on to your seats because this one will take you by surprise, and right from the start!
After 20 years in the instrumental realms, they recruited a singer, in the name of Jonah Matranga, from Sacramento, known for his work with Far and Gratitude. There is also Mitch Wheeler drumming on some tracks, also from Sacramento, known for his involvement in the noise hardcore band Will Haven. That should give you an idea of where SOAC took their sound on this album, the blissful soundscapes they used us to are pretty much absent from this record, even though one might discern them, buried below the big coating of noise and hardcore influences displayed here. Deftones comes immediately to mind when hearing this voice and those riffs, but as the album unravels, you’ll be able to feel it goes deeper and wider than that.
Whether you like it or not, there’s one thing you can’t deny here, Sons of Alpha Centauri is a band that doesn’t stay forever in their comfort zone. They definitely pushed their sound further, waayyyy further, surprising all of us with this curiosity. I don’t know if they will keep this line-up going or if that was only a one-shot, but anyways, it’s definitely worth a few listens to digest the feat they offered us here.
Blurb by Mr. Stone.
6: Borracho – Pound of Flesh (7pts)
FFO: Fu Manchu, Kyuss, Orange Goblin, Lowrider
You need some pure stoner? Don’t move, Borracho is here for you. Washington D.C.’s power trio dropped their insanely groovy bomb called Pound of Flesh in the middle of last summer. Their fourth album so far.
Ten years after their great debut Splitting Sky, the American trio has not lost anything of their strength. Borracho’s tone is massive, mammoths’ riffs come one after another, and this super heavy groove carries the listener all along with the album.
An honorable mention should be paid to « Burn it Down », a penultimate furious desert rock track, full of crushing riffs, hazy passages and Steve Fisher’s shouted singing. Maybe the best on this album.
Blurb by Mr. Void.
4 ex-æquo: Ouzo Bazooka – Dayla (8pts)
FFO: Altın Gün, Villagers of Ioannina City, Mystic Braves
The Israeli psychedelic masters have blessed us with a fresh LP after two years of pandemic oblivion. Maintaining their signature style revolving around traditional eastern melodies and mellow psychedelia, Ouzo Bazooka pushes forward with their dream on Dalya.
Cosmic synthesizers, hypnotic grooves, and soothing vocals all come together here to lure the listener into dimensions eerily familiar yet all so addictive. Dalya is the perfect album for late-night contemplation or intergalactic road tripping.
Blurb by Mr. Witchfinder.
4 ex-æquo: Kal-El – Dark Majesty (8pts)
FFO: Monster Magnet, Demonauta, Kyuss, Black Rainbows, Freedom Hawk
I saw this band passing by many times since they started in 2012, but I never took the time to really listen to them… « A shame Mr. Fuzz! » you should all say!
Because yes, Dark Majesty is a strong effort from the Norwegians, that surely dropped one of the best Stoner Rock albums of 2021. A massive wall of fuzz blasting tons of heavy riffs, a fat bottom-heavy bass, pounding drums, great Ozzy-like high-pitched vocals, and there you have it: Kal-El found the recipe for a finely crafted album in the purest tradition of Stoner Rock.
Though with the majority of the songs above the 8-minutes mark and the album clocking at 65 minutes, each song is quite an epic ride, showing great songwriting with lots of killer solos and psychedelic passages to build up the tension. Put on your spacesuit and be ready for a crushing voyage onboard the Kal-El spacecraft!
Blurb by Mr. Fuzz.
3: Acid Rooster – Irrlichter (9pts)
FFO: Agitation Free, White Manna, Lumerians, a/lpaca, The Cosmic Dead
This Leipzig (Ger.) trio is evolving under the radars but their releases are always delivering top-notch quality instrumental space/kraut, which ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned. With a debut live LP in 17, and their self-titled LP 2 years later, this is only their 3rd output, and sadly this one is only a 4-track 20min EP, but what an EP! Acid Rooster has a way of paying homage to the founders of psychedelia in Germany, the holy Kraut forefathers, while grounding it in a more modern sound, making a bridge in the space-time continuum (pun intended).
The motorik vibe is undeniably holding the ground for the guitar and occasional sax to swirl freely into space. The groove is everywhere, with that gorgeous bass providing a soft cushion for our body letting our mind safely wander off those enchanting psychedelic vibes. Each track has a special way of touching your soul and lifting it towards enlightenment, through groovy riffs or spacey thrusts. With Irrlichter (which in German, refers to something, or someone, moving about quickly) they take us further into their acid and mellow universe, mesmerizing us into a trance out of space and time.
Blurb by Mr. Stone.
2: Goat – Headsoup (10pts)
FFO: Juju, Sleepy Sun, Wooden Shijps
One of the most mysterious formations this planet gave birth to has recently returned with a new album! GOAT is back after more than 4 years with Headsoup, a tasty compilation blending both the future and the past.
One can find here a total of 13 diverse tracks of which some are previously released singles, fresh digital edits of older material or new songs such as Fill My Mouth or Queen of the Underground. Long-time fans, as well as newcomers, can surely indulge in this intricate creation as there is both familiarity and novelty. Menacing, thick grooves for die-hard fuzz maniacs or tranquil lullabies to calm a tired mind.
Headsoup perfectly showcases GOAT’s ability to juggle between darkness and light in order to deliver a sonic experience hardly comparable to anything. Go ahead and explore it if you haven’t yet!
Blurb by Mr. Witchfinder.
1: Comet Control – Inside The Sun (11pts)
FFO: Dead Meadow, Quest For Fire, Naam, Tame Impala
Comet Control is a psychedelic Quatuor, from Toronto (Can.), grounded on the ashes of the amazing Quest For Fire, dwelling in the same musical realm as their previous project. They released their debut LP in 14, and a follow-up in 16, I’ve been lucky enough to catch them live at Roadburn in 18, but I must admit five years is quite a long time without releasing anything. Though after a few spins of Inside The Sun, I won’t complain. I had a strange connection with that band for a while, they were filling up the gap left by the end of Quest For Fire quite well, but I often felt like it was missing something to get their own identity, and leave that “the new project of” label behind them. Don’t get me wrong, I still liked very much what they did, and enjoyed seeing them a lot, but sometimes one can be demanding for more.
Five years after, it seems Comet Control took the time to work on their own identity, refine their sound and what they wanted to express, and they delivered us a perfect third album. Inside The Sun is filled with wonder, exploring the sonic universe of the Canadians, bringing up elements that make us think of the scene they’re coming from, be it the alternative Canadian rock scene, or the neo-psych / stoner community. This album is a beautiful soundscape unraveling in front of you, full of meticulously perfectioned details that will keep on giving with every listen. The fuzz is glorious, bringing a kind of Dead Meadow vibe (especially on the slower-paced Good Day To Say Goodbye), contrasted with the ever-present grungey nostalgia. The range of their psychedelia is pretty wide, and no matter which side they show, it is always beautifully executed, even going out of that spectrum with the last couple of tracks and a soothing incursion that wouldn’t be out of place on an Eels’ album!
They managed to demonstrate clearly and superbly where they come from, and what they are doing, in the most mature way possible. It is neither a return to Quest For Fire, nor a big leap into the unknown, but rather a complex entanglement of all the small things that added up together make Comet Control… Comet Control. With this album, Comet Control is definitely leaving their imprint in neo-psych history, and I am pretty sure it will be one of my classics in the years to come.
Blurb by Mr. Stone.
Thanks for reading and Keep it Fuzzy!
Mr. Fuzz, Mr. Stone, Mr. Void, Mr. Momo & the More Fuzz Team