Next weekend, the 34-band, three-day Boston Fuzzstival descends on the Middle East in Cambridge like a whirling powrderkeg of sonic force. The whole thing is a massive undertaking by Illegally Blind Productions, and the necessary leap forward for an independent festival that annually showcases the barrage of sounds emanating from our region’s underground.
With such a lineup, it’s hard to keep track of it all. Luckily, Primordial Sounds and 456 Records have compiled an aural scorecard in the House of the Rising Fuzz compilation, serving first as a compass for what to expect pre-Fuzzstival, then as a volumized doctrine for all to enjoy after the festival’s racket blasts settle down.
Though not directly affiliated with Fuzzstival, House of the Rising Fuzz — which you can stream below via Bandcamp and purchase on multiple forms of 12-inch vinyl — shares the same vision, focus, and sound. As a stronger tie-in, the comp spotlights seven bands playing the Fuzz fest this year, as well as tracks from Miami Doritos, Dinoczar, and the Barbazons.
Over those 10 songs, the impressive compilation boasts a variety of garage/psych/punk/fuzz sounds further linked together by a common worship of noisy guitar-rock. Executive produced by Black Beach bassist Ben Semeta, the comp also serves to showcase more than just the bands appearing on it.
“This is more than just bands,” Semeta tells Vanyaland. “Local artist Clark Jackson designed the cover, TJ Frida of Midriffs did graphic design, the insert is decorated with photos of the bands from all local photographers, and littered with art submitted by all the bands. Every song here is recorded by different people and credited as such. We have representation from two labels, a DIY venue, and a boston blog/zine. It’s really a giant collective of art, not just music, that represents just a little of what’s happening in the city.”
Of course, the songs are killer, too. The TeleVibes‘ stringy “DMT” uses space to create gloomy atmosphere, while “Chips in the Moonlight” by Nice Guys stomps along with beautiful impatience. The Monsieurs‘ punk-fit “Shadow” gives a distorted glimpse into why they’re on of the scene’s best live bands, and Creaturos‘ “Bleeding like a Stone” is a tripped-out compilation closer that further cements their role as sort-of godfathers of Boston’s garage-psych resurgence. Black Beach’s “Kreep” rumbles heavy in the low-end of a tumbling surf-pop wave, and album opener, the New Highway Hymnal’s “Isolation,” sets the tone with a skeletal dance of drum loops, LSD hits, and the first spin of the comp’s non-stop carousel.
As Semeta tells Allston Pudding: “I just wanted to hear all my favorite bands on one record.”
Check out his friends below, and prepare to make some new friends of your own.