Let’s start the new decade with the Fuzziest albums of 2019 !
Difficult choices needed to be made again this year. It seems the Fuzzy scene is unstoppable, with brand new bands releasing killer debut albums and some older ones who still manage to surprise us.
Though this past year, I’ve personally listened to fewer albums than I wanted to, and I’m in advance sorry if I forgot some albums that you feel should be listed below. As always my top is very personal, by I feel like this one is even more compared to the previous years.
For example, you’ll see there are 9 instrumentals albums in my Top, something I think never happened before!
So yes, a less objective Top Albums, but I’m sure you’ll still be able to find some gems if we share some similar tastes 😉 And that’s why I also encourage you to also check out the Tops written by the other members of the team, we each have our own tastes and that’s what makes it so interesting.
As for the news concerning the blog itself, you should see a new version of the website during the year, I don’t know when exactly but I’m working on it. And as always thanks for following More Fuzz and continue supporting us, continue supporting the bands producing those delicious fuzzy tunes for our ears ✌️⚡
Now it’s time for Rock ‘n’ Roll ! It’s time to show you what I think is la crème de la crème in terms of fuzzy music… Let’s discover my favorite releases of 2019 !
Top 20 Albums of 2019
20 : Brant Bjork – Jacoozzi
For Fans Of : Brant Bjork and his ultimate chill attitude!
Let’s start this Top with an album without any fuzz and hi-gain guitars in it ! Yes indeed Brant Bjork alias Mr. Cool came back in 2019 with a release definitely different from his latest albums more leaning towards his classic Desert Rock style.
“Jacoozzi” is not an all-acoustic album like his 2007’s one “Tres Dias”, but it still conveys that uber-chill atmosphere the character is associated with. Mostly instrumental, it’s a very peaceful and summerish album that would be a perfect fit for a lazy day baking under the sun on your rocking chair or… in your jacuzzi if you have that luxury 🌞✌️
19 : Taraban – How The East Was Lost
For Fans Of : Graveyard, Birth Of Joy, Child
It’s always a pleasure to discover a brand new band with such a great debut album. Taraban are coming from THE country which is giving birth to a ton of awesome bands lately : Poland. And when you think Poland, you associate it more to the Stoner/Doom genre, but these 3 guys are way more rooted in a 70’s Psychedelic Blues Rock style, a decade you know I’m a big fan of 😉
The superb songwriting full of nuances is enhanced by a very rich production, where each instrument is well represented in the sound stage. The fans of the genre will surely associate Taraban music to the Swedish masters of Graveyard, though I’d say these guys are waaaaaaay more than a pale copy and really have their own identity, to me heavier and more psychedelic at times. I also dig a lot of the numerous arrangements like the keyboards and the carefully added harmony singing.
It’s that kind of album difficult to describe, but once you land your ear on it for the first time you just tell to yourself : “Oh yep. I’m an album with a familiar atmosphere but which still brings something fresh to the table“.
18 : Madmess – Selftitled
For Fans Of : Earthless, Mother Engine, Sacri Monti, Radio Moscow
I love this album because it mixes powerful Heavy-Psych epicness ala Mother Engine and some pure acidic/bluesish 70’s jamming atmospheres in an Earthlessesque manner. 2 instrumental genres of the fuzzy scene I’m a big fan of, and this Portuguese trio magnificently melted them to produce this stunning album full of energy, of mind-expanding moments, and fuuuuuuuzzzzz 👌
17 : Their Methlab – The Last Second
For Fans Of : My Sleeping Karma, Stone From The Sky, Yawning Man, Tuber
Another instrumental album ? Yes, and it won’t be the last of the top, far from it! I’m quite picky when it comes to vocals, and in the end I often prefer to envelop myself with just instruments and especially the guitar melodies.
Their Methlab are coming from Athens, Greece and will surely make you think of one of the releases we did this year with More Fuzz Records, Stone From The Sky. Like them, they sumptuously merge Heavy-Psych and Post-Rock to produce a complex delay-heavy guitar work, backed up by a powerful rhythm section. The whole thing is hypnotic and mind-expanding as hell, a perfect soundtrack to lose yourself into a long drive across some magical landscapes…
16 : Kadavar – For The Dead Travel Fast
For Fans Of : Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Kadavar
The last two Kadavar albums, “Rough Times” and “Berlin” didn’t really strike me as much as this new one. To me, it sounds way more “Kadavar”, primarily because they recorded it themselves in their own studio and it has that “vintage” production touch I really dig. So yes, production-wise it sounds more like their self-titled debut album of 2013, but the content itself of the album feels way more mature than in their beginnings. More experimentations and a darker atmosphere overall but while still bringing that catchy-poppish side they are known for. In the end, these 9 songs just feel less generic and more Kadavar than ever.
Also to note, the 3 guys are still the same stage beasts we know them for. I had the chance to see them twice this year, one time in a festival setting, and once in a proper headlining set. The latter was really impressive, really huge energy as usual, but also some interesting doomier and atmospheric passages that fitted perfectly with their new album’s ambiance.
15 : John Garcia and the Band of Gold – Selftitled
For Fans Of : Kyuss, Slo-Burn, Unida
Tremendous job done by Mr. Garcia and his crew, this is certainly the best record featuring the most famous Stoner Rock singer since he released “Coping with the Urban Coyote” with Unida in 1999.
And even if I know some people really can’t stand his voice, I feel like Garcia is here in full form. Of course, he is also backed by an outstanding instrumental section, all these 11 songs are really powerful, catchy and fuzzy as hell, it’s just a killer album that brings us back to those golden years in the Californian desert 🏜️
14 : Monomyth – Orbis Quadrantis
For Fans Of : Causa Sui, Monkey3, Papir, Øresund Space Collective
Hard for me not to include a new Monomyth album in my Top knowing how much I love this band. Though I could be disappointed one could say, but I’m not, far from it !
The instrumental psychedelic/kraut/space band from The Netherlands is quite unique in the scene, each musician is hugely talented and they are masters at crafting those dreamy atmospheres with multiple layers of repetitive sounds and beautiful melodies. An epic journey for your mind which you really don’t want to stop that soon… Keep on making me fly guys 💫
13 : Brunt – Ataraxy
For Fans Of : Elder, REZN, Sleep, Vinnum Sabbathi
Last year Brunt’s mates Lord Vapour made it to my top, now it’s the turn of this awesome instrumental Stoner-Doom/Heavy-Psych trio to earn its place in my 2019 top!
I had to look up in my dictionary what does mean “Ataraxy”, so for the ignorants like me here it is : “a state of serene calmness“. Particularly true for the wonderful title track which was recorded with some interesting instruments like a rav drum, a shruti box or a flute, which give a unique otherworldly tone to the whole song. The 3 others are all around the 10-minute mark and even if I’m not sure I’m feeling “calm” while listening to them, I can definitely feel a hypnotic vibe going on.
Between calm psychedelic parts with lots of delay and heavier ones with a maxed-out fuzz, Brunt’s music is for me, like the yin and the yang. It has the power to either crush your soul with dark low-tuned doomy atmospheres or on the contrary lift you up high in the bright sky with delicate melodies. Well done brothers!
12 : Tides From Nebula – From Voodoo To Zen
For Fans Of : We Lost The Sea, Long Distance Calling, God Is An Astronaut
Certainly the album in my Top which is the farthest from the Fuzzy scene. Yes we’re more in the Post-Rock territory with the Polish of Tides From Nebula, but this album really hit me hard the very first time I heard it. I frankly never heard something quite like this, and I was literally mindblown.
You know I’m drawn to epic atmospheres and instrumental greatness, well Tides From Nebula exactly embodies that. Bordering on electronic music with a heavy use of synthesizers to create that wide variety of sounds, from cinema-like SciFi melodies to deep bassy drops.
A very emotional and at the same time soothing album, what a beautiful trip to the edges of the galaxy man 🌌
11 : Salem’s Bend – Supercluster
For Fans Of : Black Sabbath, Wolfmother, The Atomic Bitchwax, Led Zeppelin
Aaaaahh yes some Black Sabbath worship ! Well, that was just to get your attention, because those 3 dudes from LA are far from a ripoff band. Yes, their vibe feels a lot rooted in the Heavy Rock of the 70’s, you know bluesy riffs, bouncing bass lines, powerful drums and clean vocals.
But what really makes Salem’s Bend 2nd album interesting is in the variety of the songs they produced and the overall quality of their songwriting. I mean you are really hooked into them, and I don’t know how to say it, but they just have a great “feeling” to create songs that work!
And if you have the chance definitely try to catch them live, their gig in a packed Black Heart at the DesertFest London this year was amazing and full of energy, just pure RAWK’N’ROLL in your face 🤘
10 : The Re-Stoned – 10π
For Fans Of : Mmmmh… Good fuckin’ music ? 😉
I think we never really talked about The Re-Stoned on More Fuzz, and it’s a shame. Let’s correct that right now. Because this instrumental Psychedelic/Stoner Rock band from Moscow, Russia is widely underrated and is definitely worth your attention.
“10π” is a live album recorded in 2018 to celebrate the 10 years of existence of the band, but which was released this year in September. 4 out of the 6 songs are from their 2018’s “Ram’s Head” album, while the 2 others date back from their earliest releases. But before running away because you read “live album” let me tell you the sound is impeccable and you can really feel all the energy of the live show going out of your speakers 👊
And this is one of the things I love about The Re-Stoned (among many others), their music is so impactful, you can feel each musician is putting all his heart into playing tunes they love. It’s also very difficult to categorize their sound, as it can be really jammy and psychedelic with amazing guitar solos by their mastermind Ilya Lipkin, sometimes with way fuzzier and groovy riffage, you can even call some parts “doomy” like the first song on this live album “Land Of Crimson Clouds“.
I urge you to listen to this release, and if you liked it I can only recommend you to also check out their (2nd!) release of 2018, “Stories of the Astral Lizard“, which is one of those albums I should definitely have put in my Top Albums of 2018, what a trip man…
9 : Kamchatka – Hoodoo Lightning
For Fans Of : Clutch, Ted Nugent, Orango, Grand Funk Railroad, The Allman Brothers
7th full-length for the modern Heavy-Blues Swedish trio, no time to rest, it’s full of catchy and groovy riffs of the highest quality with superb clean heartfelt vocals ! Rock On’ 🤘 Read my full review.
8 : Elder – The Gold & Silver Sessions EP
For Fans Of : Elder, Monomyth, Causa Sui
An interesting release from the phenomenon of the decade, where they tried something a bit different from the usual “Elder sound”. The overall vibe is way more chill, psychedelic and repetitive, while also giving more space to Mike Risberg and his keys.
I feel those 3 songs sound a bit less unique than what they usually give us with their albums, but it’s still a superb piece of music that proves Elder are still in exploration mode with their own sound, and that, is something I’m happy to be able to experience. Can’t wait to discover what they’ll come up with their new album in 2020!
7 : Monkey3 – Spheres
For Fans Of: Samsara Blues Experiment, Mother Engine
The Swiss are the masters of the Heavy-Psych genre in an epic manner and they were here to prove it one more time in 2019 with their 7th album “Spheres”.
They decided to go back to longer songs compared to their previous album “Astra Symmetry”, indeed with a total of 6 songs compared to 12 previously, and with 2 tracks above the 10-minute mark and none in the previous one. I personally like both ways of approaching their music, you’re more concentrated on each song for the new one rather than a full album experience with Astra Symmetry.
I feel like with Astra Symmetry there was more experimentation with their music, like vocals, more clean guitars, some interlude songs… With “Spheres” they went back to what the guys are really good at : epic songs slowly building-up to a climax situation where your mind gets blown away by a heavy riff or a majestic guitar solo. Of course, there are twists and turns too, but it’s their main signature and it’s simply so well-executed.
Special mention for their live performances too, I saw Monkey3 twice this year, the first time was with a stunning view on the Switzerland mountains for the Palp Festival, pure epicness 🌄 and 2nd time was during their wonderful acoustic set at DesertFest Belgium 👌
6 : Antarticus – Selftitled
For Fans Of : Black Sabbath, Lord Vapour, Savanah, The Vintage Caravan
One of the very first album of 2019 that I got hooked in right away, indeed this trio from “the Great White North” in Canada, released their debut album on January 4th, 2019.
It’s quite a diverse album and hard to pinpoint a genre to it. I’d say Heavy Rock primarily, but its rawness also feels very 70’s/proto-metalish. You’ll even hear some synths that seem to directly come from the 80’s NWOBHM scene.
I’d say the album could be way more coherent, with these two 10+ minutes tracks closing the album, they seem to be a reflection of what the guys did in the first four ones but in 2 longer songs. I mean they have some really cool original ideas and you can hear they are talented musicians, man those guitar solos, those thick-ass groovy basslines, those solid drums, they RAWK!
In the end, I choose to include this debut album by Antarticus in my Top mainly because of the amazing energy delivered and the very apparent musicianship between these 3 dudes. Now it’s a matter of channeling that energy into a more cohesive proposal for their 2nd album 🤘
5 : Villagers Of Ioannina City – Age Of Aquarius
For Fans Of : Naxatras, Palm Desert
It’s been 5 years since the Greeks of VIC released their interesting debut album “Ryza”. Now they’re back stronger than ever with a 60+ minutes album named “Age Of Aquarius”. Such a well-produced and refreshing release, I’m not surprised they recently announced their signing with Napalm Records!
The whole album is really coherent and still has a lot of variety that forces you to keep on listening to it. The use of traditional instruments like the clarinet is one of them, and it really brings a cool atmosphere to the tracks it’s used in. The base of the music is still a Stoner Rock approach, but they add some prog, psych, grungey elements in there to keep it interesting.
Special mention to Alex Karametis vocals which are really rich and take a big part in making this whole album epic.
Congrats guys, it’s a stunning album you put out.
4 : Runa Gaman – Selftitled
For Fans Of : Causa Sui, Hijo de la Tormenta, Astrodome, Papir, Monomyth
Last instrumental album of my top 😉, but Runa Gaman’s debut album is really worth your attention, I promise.
These 4 guys coming from Argentina clearly know how to create lengthy songs (4 out of 5 above the 10-minute mark) with such cool dreamy ambiances. They’re already mastering everything that makes a good jammy-post-heavy-psych record : smooth and calm parts to elevate your mind, a great rhythm section that supports awesome melodic guitar work and spacey embellishments from the keys, they also know when to bring the heaviness at the perfect moment, resulting in epic songs progressions that’ll blow your mind 🤯
For the moment they seem to be autoproduced, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on a Psych centered label like… El Paraiso Records for example ? 😉
3 : Lo-Pan – Subtle
For Fans Of : Sasquatch, Gozu, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Valley Of The Sun, Dozer
If someone asks me what’s the best “Stoner Rock” album of 2019, then this is it.
Lo-Pan was back this year in full force, they produced some of the catchiest and fuzziest songs I ever heard. There is not a single moment where I’m feeling bored, on the contrary, I’m headbanging for the whole 50 minutes. I even hired a masseur for my neck that comes to my house every time I listen to Subtle 😅
And yes, I also now place Jeff Martin as one of my favorite singers in the Fuzzy scene. Those clean but powerful vocals always hit the right spot, congrats dude, it’s sublime 👌
2 : Molior Superum – As Time Slowly Passes By…
For Fans Of : Graveyard, Siena Root, Witchcraft, Heat, Brutus
Without a doubt the album I played the most this year. Like I said in my original review, Molior Superum is “THE Swedish Retro-Rock succession“. To give you a hint they come from the same town as Graveyard, Göteborg.
And yes while they may sound similar to their elders, I simply don’t give a shit. Because their music is just so damn good and catchy to my ears. The Temperature Level blows out of the roof most of the time, with endless tasty and groovy riffs, it’s well-written, just the perfect album to give me an energy boost whenever I need it ⚡
1 : Birdstone – Seer
For Fans Of : Child, Led Zeppelin, Graveyard
Cocorico! Let me present you an album by a young French band as my favorite album of 2019 👌
I’ve been following the trio for quite some time now, seen them several times live and while I knew I already dug their music, I didn’t expect such an amazing debut album 🤯 Birdstone play that kind of Heavy Rock with a lot of 70’s influences, a strong appeal to the blues, and mostly, all in nuances and emotions, it’s deep I can tell you !
And what’s really striking with Birdstone is their music still feels very unique and dynamic even though they play in a genre where it’s really easy to sound too cliché. Yes, you won’t be bored with these 7 tracks, each riff, each chord progression, each burning guitar solo is carefully crafted to sound appealing while still sounding original, damn they really carry the blues inside them!
Congrats guys, I don’t know how you’ll manage to create a 2nd album better than this one, but I still trust your talent to do it 👏
Make sure to also listen to the 2 More Fuzz Records releases of 2019
I didn’t include Stone From The Sky 3rd LP and Djiin debut album in my Top, but of course if I chose to sign them it’s because I truly love what they do, and they would certainly sit at the top of my favorite albums of 2019 😉
For Fans Of : Causa Sui, RotoR, Mother Engine, Toundra, Somali Yacht Club
Heavy-Psych meets Post-Rock for a refreshing take on the genre, be ready for a mind-melting trip!
For Fans Of : Vodun, Dead Weather, My Sleeping Karma, Ruby The Hatchet, Maidavale
Djiin is what you would call “Psychedelic Stoner Rock” but it’s just way more than that, delivering a perfect blend of Blues, Prog Rock, Fuzz Rock for 3 years now.
The enchanting and roaring vocals of the singer with her harp, the fuzzy guitar riffs, the rumbling bass, and the powerful drums, offer us a unique and transcending performance.
Honourable Mentions by Atmosphere Levels
By Fat Level
Howling Giant – The Space Between Worlds
Parasol Caravan – Nemesis
Monolord – No Comfort
Skraeckoedlan – Earth
Yatra – Death Ritual
Goatess – Blood & Wine
By Purple Haze Level
Colour Haze – We Are
Pyramidal – “S/T”
Mantra Machine – Heliosphere
Mars Red Sky – The Task Eternal
Mote – Samalas
Red Scalp – The Great Chase In The Sky
By Temperature Level
Crobot – Motherbrain
Crypt Trip – Haze Country
Planet Of Zeus – Faith in Physics
Arrowhead – Coven Of The Snake
Top Concerts of 2019
Yatra @ DesertFest Belgium
Monkey3 acoustic set @ DesertFest Belgium
Lo-Pan @ DesertFest Belgium
Salem’s Bend @ DesertFest London
Fu Manchu @ DesertFest London
Skraeckoedlan @ DesertFest London
Mother’s Cake @ DesertFest London
Kikagaku Moyo @ Palp Festival, Switzerland
Colour Haze @ Palp Festival, Switzerland
IAH @ Palp Festival, Switzerland
Messa @ DesertFest London
Great Electric Quest @ DesertFest London
Djiin @ La Scène Michelet, France
Datcha Mandala @ Crumble Fest, France
Birdstone @ La Scène Michelet, France
King Buffalo @ Freak Valley Festival, Germany
Wolfmother @ Freak Valley Festival, Germany
YOB @ Freak Valley Festival, Germany
Monomyth @ DesertFest Belgium
Crypt Trip @ DesertFest Belgium
Decasia @ La Scène Michelet, France
Kadavar @ Stereolux, France