The return of the Fuzzy Charts
The votes were a bit tight for some, two bands being clearly ahead for most of the time, but a third one surprisingly getting into the top during the weekend. Then come a bunch of other quality records all close to each other in terms of votes. I think it would be more representative with bigger numbers of votes, even though they’re higher than last month, so we’ll see how this develops over the next few months
Feel free to tell us what you think of this idea and if you got any ideas on how to improve it. The point here is to make it more about you than us.
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.
Here is the result of this poll, for the month of February, enjoy!
Top 11 Albums of February 2021
Since we got a clear top3, but it’s quite close for those behind that, I decided to keep a bit more into the final top of the month (i.e. all albums above 5pts). You might be familiar with at least some of them since 3 of those were already reviewed on More Fuzz!
10 ex–æquo: Dopelord – Reality Dagger (5pts)
Dopelord is back with an EP, barely a year after their well-acclaimed full-length ‘Sign of the Devil’! Still at the top of their doom game, the 4 polish dudes brought us our fix in the most efficient form: two 5min fuzzed-out bangers, and a 10min crusher to finish us off. Exactly what we needed to go with that cold and grim month of February.
10 ex–æquo: JakeTheHawk – Hinterlands (5pts)
JakeTheHawk is a Pittsburgh Heavy-Psych quartet brewing their own blend of Psych, Indie, Prog, and Stoner vibes, and it sounds pretty good! ‘Hinterlands’ got a nice fuzzy sound, good groove, and pretty cool songwriting, with enough variations in the atmospheres between the songs to keep the attention of the listener all along. Keep an eye out for the ‘Hawk!
Read Mr. Cromlech’s review here.
7 ex–æquo: Cult Of Luna – The Raging River (6pts)
FFO: Neurosis, Pelican, The Ocean, AmenRa, Ancestors
The Swedish masters of Post-Metal are back with a 38min EP (!) of what they do best, top-notch crushing aerial heaviness. Harsh and soothing, atmospheric and subterranean, dark and shining, all at the same time, so deeply full of emotions in all these ways. It seems they took up the torch where they left it with their last brilliant album, ‘A Dawn To Fear’. After all, it’s been 23 years they’re around, and after everything they already proved, they’re still at the peak of their skills and still trying to push forward with every release. The cherry on the cake, Mark Lanegan guests on one track 😉
7 ex–æquo: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – L.W. (6pts)
FFO: Thee Oh Sees, The Murlocs, Babe Rainbow, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, Ty Segall
The neverending list of releases from King Gizz’ keeps getting longer with this new opus. Still in their Microtonal tuning phase, they brought out even more diversity (and groove) than before, while still keeping that spark that makes any KG album shine in its own KG way. L.W., as any other King Gizzard album is a trip on its own, with multiple atmospheres unraveling throughout the course of the album, from the danceable opener to the super heavy rocker at the end. On top of that, this time it’s for the right cause since each purchase will help to reforest a damaged area in Australia, thus helping to protect the amazing biodiversity of their stunning island. Nasty riffs for your ears and Eucalyptus for the koalas!
7 ex–æquo: Indica Blues – We Are Doomed (6pts)
People say not to trust appearances, but here, you definitely can. Indica Blues, as the band name and album cover suggest, are operating in the classic Stoner Rock vibe. Coming from Oxford, UK, with one album every two years since 2014, these guys seem to be well established and know what they’re doing. This album is full of righteous mighty fuzz, killer riffs, nifty soli, hazy heaviness, and blazing energy, all packaged perfectly together with proper production to make it sound right on spot. So roll yourself one in your rolling chair to look at the sunset or jump in your lowrider and hit the road, but anyway, blast it LOUD!
5 ex–æquo: Birds of Vale – Devil In/Beautiful Girl (7pts)
FFO: Band of Skulls, The Picturebooks, Arcadian Child, Snowy Dunes
Birds of Vale is a newly-formed duo from Athens, Greece, that dwells in the old school 70s bluesy vibes, adding it a modern alt-rock varnish. This release is just a double single so you might find yourself wanting for more, but I guess they should probably release a full-length at some point of the year. Anyway, these two songs are setting a nice foundation for the band’s identity, full of catchy bluesy licks and slides, appealing soulful vocals, and overall laid-back vibe. The Greeks seem to measure exactly what they do and how they do it, not trying to put too much in the mix to compensate for the fact they’re a duo, dosing wisely the tempo and effects, and most importantly, letting enough room for the songs to breathe.
5 ex–æquo: Kungens Män – Den Nya Skivan (7pts)
FFO: Can, Oresund Space Collective, Dead Sea Apes, The Myrrors, Cosmic Dead
“Kungens Män is a 6 piece improvisation psychedelic band and you can really feel that they let themselves completely loose and free in their music. After the super chill and wonderful Trappmusik from last year, this one can seem a bit heavier, and trippier. No saxophone, drum machine, or organ this time, but still 2 guitars, bass, drums, percussions, and synths, in complete harmony. A bit more into the efficiency direction if you want, but still with the distinctive identity previously built by the Swedish geniuses.
The motorik vibe is really the backbone of Kungens Män, and you can feel it everywhere in their music, and in this album. Developing around that, the guitars invite us to look past the horizon and propel us onto a beautiful trip.
It’s a sort of relaxed entropy with so many raffinate details that it seems the meticulous work of a master goldsmith rather than the improvisation is actually is.”
Blurb taken from my review, read it in full here.
4: Sunnata – Burning in Heaven, Melting on Earth (9pts)
FFO: Spaceslug, Belzebong, Monolord, Elephant Tree, Rezn
Can’t believe it’s already been almost 3 years since Outlands… Sunnata took the time to raffinate their skills and characteristic cold doom vibe to deliver yet another high-quality record. This new album is full of heavy and forward-driven buildups, shamanistic breaks, and crushing climaxes. The Polish Quatuor keeps on exploring and expanding its sonic universe, always on the lookout for new inspirations to add to their distinctive sound, for our greatest pleasure. The complexity and refinement of this album are astonishing, with a perfect balance between trippiness, groove, and heaviness, mesmerizing and tormenting at the same time. This one is clearly a grower and I’m guessing it should probably make its way to some of the end-of-the-year lists…
3: Mt. Mountain – Centre (12pts)
FFO: Kikagaku Moyo, Causa Sui, Can, Dead Meadow, Tame Impala
It’s been a while since Mr. Jones’ review of their second EP, 6 years exactly. The Aussies from Mt. Mountain haven’t been idle in the meantime, releasing new music almost every year since 2013. This exquisite piece of blissful psychedelia has lost the battle for the 1st spot in this article only in the last turn but deserves your full attention if you dig that kind of chill, peaceful, and trippy vibes. The mood is a bit melancholic, yet it still sounds quite comforting, and positive in its way. The direction taken is fully inwards, as this album should pull you into your mind, contemplating your inner self. You can feel the Australian background (King Gizzard, Tame Impala…) at work here, sweetened as if muffled somehow, but still there. There are also some krautrock influences sprinkled all over the album, along with vibes that can only remind me of the Japanese scene (Acid Mother’s Temple, Kikagaku Moyo, Minami Deutsch…). If you ever find yourself in need of smooth and comforting peace during the year, remember this album, for it’s definitely the perfect one for that.
1ex–æquo: Holy Monitor – Southern Lights (13pts)
FFO: The Black Angels, Tame Impala, Pretty Lightning, Here Lies Man
I knew this one would be somewhere in this article for sure, but I didn’t expect to see it rank that high. Yet, getting quite a turnout in the last few days of the votes, here it is. Hailing from Athens, Greece, Holy Monitor left quite a mark this month with Southern Lights, their 3rd full-length since their debut EP of 2015. Fully in the psychedelia direction again, clearly rooted in their sunny Mediterranean scene, they’ve gathered inspiration from all the corners of the world to get to this peculiar psych melting-pot. Reverb drips all over the course of the album, the rhythm section grooving and lulling us while the organ envelops the piercing guitar and nostalgic vocals in a silky haze, inducing this sunny reverie atmosphere that makes you feel so good. The kind of “world music” influences displayed here and there and the way they use the fuzz and wah remind me strongly of Here Lies Man and other bands that also ventured in this direction, though a bit more moderate. This is a record that will bring you far away from the present concerns and reality, in a dream world where you can feel at ease, with your senses stimulated by all the wonderful emotions displayed here
1ex–æquo: Spelljammer – Abyssal Trip (13pts)
FFO: Slomatics, Monolord, Electric Wizard, Domkraft, Cities of Mars
“Abyssal Trip is the second album of Swedish doom trio Spelljammer from Stockholm, Sweden and they are currently signed to RidingEasy Records. Six years have passed since their debut full-length Ancient of Days hit the streets.
The new album Abyssal Trip is oozing psychedelic doom out of its six tracks – you find hypnotic riffs, heavy bass lines as well as heavy drums, and wonderful melodies interwoven with pretty progressive parts. Spiced up with a lot of fuzz, distortion, and feedback, it’s a welcome sonic onslaught on your ears!”
Blurb taken from Mr. Black Kraken review, read it in full here.
Thanks for reading and Keep it Fuzzy!
Mr. Stone & the More Fuzz Team