Fuzz Fest, the annual celebration of music that worships the distorted and cosmic edge of rock was back at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor.
FUZZ FEST 4
Fuzz Fest 4 pulled together an eclectic and electric cast of bands at the Blind Pig for three days of music. The master of ceremonies, Chris Taylor once again arranged for 33 bands to play over the three-day festival. Chris along with close friends Jeremy Wheeler, Jef Porkins, and James Symons managed to keep all these bands on schedule bouncing between stages and running the awesome psychedelic light show. Jeremy Wheeler also used his talents to create the stunning visual imagery for the Fuzz Fest 4 poster and shirts. Along with the great staff at the Blind Pig and the sponsors (Faygo, VG Kids, ARBCO Records, Life In Michigan, and the Music and Arts Guild), this army of rock put on another fantastic festival.
Day 1 of Fuzz Fest 4 started off with The Gruesome Twosome from Ypsilanti. The twosome was really a threesome with drum, guitar, and sax. They jangled some spooky rockabilly fueled music with a big shot of humor.
Next up was the sonic LSD experience of the VSTRS. I could have listened to this band play for hours. The music resonated with a droning, dreamy quality that would ebb and flow between soft space to crunchy guitar and drum. Ethereal vocals added the cherry on top of this psychedelic adventure.
Warhorses complimented the previous set by the VSTRS by keeping the trance like grooves while kicking up the intensity. The Warhorses rocked with gritty intensity and a lightning soul. The fog and flashing blue lights added to the overall Fuzz Fest visuals to create a compelling canvas for their wall of sound.
The Jackpine Snag
The Jackpine Snag were raging priests of the Electric Church of the Almight Groove. Utilizing thunderous riffs borne upon the wings of savage drums, these guys were remorseless in their devastation of the crowd at the Blind Pig. Check out their tune “Weapon of Heaven” for a taste.
Duende was dynamic and fun to see live at Fuzz Fest 4. Everyone in the band was physically expressive as they played which accentuated the musical vibe. I struggled a bit to think of how to best describe their sound. In some respects, it was old school rockabilly, yet that term doesn’t do them justice. They blend up a lot of roots to make a delightfully strange brew.
Minihorse drew in a sizeable crowd and their fans were not disappointed. They concocted a sound that dared to reminded me of the early fire and trauma of Nirvana. Their catchy tunes pulled the crowd in close like a friendly beach blanket.
In Czech folklore, Bubak is a boogeyman who weaves a suit of stolen souls and uses the cry of an innocent child to lure in his victims. In terms of the band named Bubak, this two man wrecking crew laid waste to eardrums of Fuzz Fest 4 with sonic fury.
Wild Savages brought the thunder to Fuzz Fest 4. It was clear that this band has been schooled in the hallowed halls of Motorhead and Thin Lizzy. Guitarist Casey O’Ryan wailed on his strat with a Cheshire grin as bassist Joe Kupiec and drummer Stefan Krstovic laid down the law. As their name implied this band played with savage passion that you could feel. They will save rock and rock for us all.
Fuzz Fest veterans, JUNGLEFOWL rocked with a raw and visceral sound that entranced the crowd. This dynamic duo offered up plenty of peacock strut with their edgy music. Facing each other from across the stage, Melissa and Stefan captured the essence of Fuzz Fest 4 with howling low-fi rock. The crowd ate it up.
Human Skull’s entertained the audience at Fuzz Fest 4 with a white-hot shot of punk. Big, bouncy rhythms played against the anguished vocals. They laid their sweat soaked souls bare upon the barroom floor.
The icing on the cake for the first night of Fuzz Fest 4 was the brilliant chaos of Child Bite. Sadly a few people left earlier and missed out on the unbridled insanity of the band’s set. Child Bite gave an outstanding performance with vocalist Shawn Knight snapping like a rabid dog. Meanwhile, Sean Clancy, Brandon Sczomak, and Jeff Kraus wove aggressively angular music into a frenzy of sound and energy.
Be sure to stop by the gallery for over 160 pictures of the bands from Day 1 of Fuzz Fest 4.
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