‘Sending an absolutely anthemic message to the music industry, it’s one hell of a debut.’
Intro to Fuzz Skyler
Hailing from no less than five different countries, alternative-rock band Fuzz Skyler today invite us to become part of their musical United Nations. Fronted by British-Iranian lead singer and keys player Fuzz, with British drummer Mark, Portuguese and Greek guitarists Dan and Kostas, and Lithuanian bassist Arnie completing the quintet, you may find yourself wondering how it can all work together. But wonder no more as debut release ‘Recall’ proves that it not only works, it works phenomenally. Taking inspiration from the music industry itself, it’s a track that lyrically looks to bring about change – creating a world where upcoming artists can truly shine, and highlights Fuzz Skyler’s influences and approach in a way that proves just how much they understand their craft. Read more at: Behind the Music: Interview with Fuzz Skyler
Breaking the silence ahead of pressing play, a vocal that makes you wonder if you’ve selected Queen rather than Fuzz Skyler emerges. Roaring, slightly raspy, and carrying unbounded security it instantly provides the sense of announcement the band wanted to launch with. You won’t have heard it before, but wow will you immediately want to hear it again. Then, switching to instrumental focus, tight as you like drumming and dominant guitar riffs appear. Nothing short of epic, it’s one hell of a way to make an arrival. And one hell of a way to showcase the artistic understanding that will not only run through this debut, but the tracks that will follow later in the year.
Highlighting the relationship between every element of the sound Fuzz Skyler possess, these rock-out guitar motifs not only establish the sonic centred atmosphere but emulate that opening phrase. Melodically replicating Fuzz’s statement ‘Oh what we’d do for a minute or two of fame!’, it’s a moment that whips you off your feet and has you in the palms of their hands. Equally, snappy drum fills and ringing whines infuse the instrumental content turning it into a stadium-like sound. Already there is no doubting they mean business, and in shifting tone through the verse, there is no doubting their versatility either.
Generating a refreshing change of texture for tracks of this style, rather than the drive being carried by an onslaught of sound, bass guitar functions as the only harmonic centred accompaniment. Underneath impassioned lyricism, it delivers an unexpected level of power. Meanwhile, almost restrained percussive elements provide a rhythmical centre and inferred momentum. It really is quite the change from the opening moments. But then, with the lyricism becoming filled with references to previous eras, ‘Remember all the days when Hendrix was the craze’, sonic bursts return. Transporting you back to those heady days, it’s a nod that’s insanely stylish rather than cliché.
‘Whore: a musical act (i.e. a band or singer) that’s constantly being recycled and remarketed by the music industry.’ [Fuzz Skyler]
Pushing through into the chorus, having created such a strength of atmosphere our focus is further drawn to Fuzz’s ever-evolving vocal qualities. And the lyricism. And the setting of it too. Cramming every phrase with portamento, passion and expression, initial line ‘And I feel my spirit soar’ pushes skyward in the most apt way. Equally, in contrasting the anger tinted delivery of key lyric, ‘How many times can they remarket a whore?’, with the unexpected softness of vibrato-infused, ‘Let us shift the tide and bring the call for change’, you can’t ignore just how showcase the sound is.
Continuing to highlight every single aspect of their musicality, as we shift at pace towards what will be an instrumental that’s so good it deserves to be a track itself, you are struck by the way everything works so seamlessly. Sure you could say this about many awesome bands, but it’s rare to hear it to this level. Reflecting the vocals, skid-like guitar squeals blend with ‘Driving through the city, 100 miles an hour’. Then shortly after, Fuzz brings an almost devilish, nay twisted quality to ‘this pain I must devour.’ With this being a track aimed at how the mainstream industry functions, it certainly feels like he’s relishing the chance to disrupt ‘Simon’s reign.’
With the track having delivered so much to this point, the chorus resurgence sees the arrival of full-throttle developments that soar into our ears. Instrumentally, counter-melodic guitar motifs push through the dense texture. Bass guitar pounds away in the depths. Drumming patterns continually evolve, becoming infused with accented strikes. Simultaneously, the main vocals are joined by additional harmonies that carry demonic, yet angelic tendencies. At every turn there is something for you to grab hold of, something to anthemically wow you, and ultimately, something to make you want even more. And if it is more you’re after, don’t fear as you’re about to get it.
Remember that aforementioned instrumental? Well we are about to experience and savour every single second of it. A piano glissando kicks things off first. Then a dirty, grit filled guitar solo erupts. One bar roaring to the sky, the next demonstrating intricacy, it’s phenomenal. But wait, something sounds familiar. Oh yeah, that’ll be the fragments of previous vocal melodies that are being worked into it. I know they said they like to work everything as one, but to do it to this extent, and it not sound forced, is almost too good for words.
Enhancing this approach right to the end, with the epic instrumental having passed, Fuzz now offers us a briefly ballad-esque change. Almost intimate in nature, with him self-accompanying on piano a gentle setting of earlier dominance-filled countermelodies appears. Away from the drama, it’s a glimpse of softness we may expect in future releases. But soon, very soon, you soar back into the atmosphere that has been ever apparent. An atmosphere that becomes enhanced by echoing vocal renditions, unbounded power, and ultimately leaves us wondering just ‘How many times can they re-market a whore?’
Recall by Fuzz Skyler is out everywhere now.