by Thomas Bedward September 19, 2020
Rising from the hard rock roots of Boston, Massachusetts, Fuzzkill have been laying waste to the underground music scene since the release of their debut record ‘Happen’ back in 2019. Influenced by the likes of Fall Out Boy, Green Day, The Foo Fighters, and Queen, Fuzzkill’s style lies firmly in the raucous and enduring pop-punk scene of the early 2000s, a place where soaring melodies, catchy hooks, and driving grooves rule supreme and dense four-part melodies are everything.
A tight-knit four-piece with shared backgrounds in musical theatre, Jake Smerechniak, Jordan Potash, Jude Torres, and Trey Lundquist have well and truly found their form in Fuzzkill, and while their debut record might have laid the foundation for things to come, it’s their sophomore album that has really put them on the map. Titled ‘The Get Better’, the new record is arguably one of the most densely packed and explosive collections of tracks that 2020 has to offer, pulling no punches and hitting hard with a force and style that would make local legends like Aerosmith, The Cars, and Pixies proud.
Rising from an intricate blend of digital tones and static breaks, the album begins with the aptly titled ‘Intro’, a short thirty-second burst of simple melody and evolving intrigue. It’s a disarming beginning, one that second cut ‘Stupid Fucking Summer’ steps into perfectly, unleashing a defiant early highlight of the album. With a flourish of drums and rolling bassline, ‘Stupid Fucking Summer’ drip with passion and emotion, layering surprisingly harmonious vocals with a flurry of guitar the fight to break through the alt-rock melee. Hopefully, defiant, and built to inflict maximum impact, it’s a song that you’ll find yourself returning to again and again, shouting along with each impassioned chorus.
Following numbers ‘Iced Tea’ and ‘Save The Date’ bring some classic guitar rock to the fore, breaking through your speakers with confidence, hard-hitting anthems and undeniably melodies. It’s a visceral one-two of guitar riffs and soaring vocals, building off one another to create a tour de force of reflective rock sounds. Elsewhere, ‘Intimate Affair’, ‘On Your Own’ and ‘Taking Damage’ blend caustic rock ‘n’ roll with underlying musical theatrics that shine through at every opportunity.
Taking the first step back from Fuzzkill’s high tempo sound, ‘Melodrama’ cuts through the action-packed album with acoustic sound and air of fragility, capturing an honest and deeply evocative sound that proves the band can write songs that shine with genuine human moments, as well as loud and unyielding rock anthems. It a trick that Fuzzkill repeat in perform form on ‘Society’, one of the most disarming and expressive releases on the album. Between the two tracks, there’s heartfelt verse and dynamic shifting choruses that draw you in and leave you utterly speechless.
In the closing moments of ‘The Get Better’, Fuzzkill unleash two of their most impressive tracks to date, ‘Everything Is Better (September)’ and ‘The Break’. Unyielding and uncompromising, the two tracks form a brash, perfect moment that some up the nature of the album perfectly, firing on all cylinders and throwing caution to the wind. It’s a fierce last hurrah that pushes everything else aside, letting the dust settle before the closing number ‘The Feel Alright’ fades into view. Easily the most impressive piece of composition and planning we’ve heard in months, ‘The Feel Alright’ echoes ‘Stupid Fucking Summer’ perfectly, lending a dark, emotive twist to the once fierce song. Haunting, visceral, and impossible to ignore, it’s a poignant and powerful end to an absolutely massive album.
After just a few tracks, it’s obvious that unravelling every strand or stitch of ‘The Get Better’ is an impossible task. Built to impress, entertain and inspire, ‘The Get Better’ is brave, explosive, and unforgettable, offering a constant flow of reflective songs that aren’t afraid to tackle the big issues or look deep into the heart of darker times. Showcasing the band’s ability to weave driven, self-reflective, and often poignant narratives into hard-hitting pop-punk sounds, Fuzzkill’s sophomore album is a rough and ready triumph and an absolute hidden gem of 2020.
You can stream ‘The Get Better’ above via Spotify, and make sure you follow Fuzzkill on their social media sites below, so you never miss a release.
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