We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It (just Fuzzbox in the US, and for the rest of this post) could have been yet another Birmingham band (along with Fine Young Cannibals, Duran Duran, and many more) to conquer the US pop charts in the ’80s. They had the sass and the tunes and, of course, the fuzzbox, but something just didn’t click, and today they are a musical footnote, only brought to my attention by the way this insane album cover screamed at me from the shelves.
Perhaps it was the unwieldy band name or confusing album title (any UK folks want to clue us in on what “bostin'” means?), or maybe there was internal band strife. Whatever the reason, after a few years of moderate success, singer Vickie Perks left to start a solo career, and Fuzzbox was no more until 2010, when they reunited for a few shows, ironically putting an end to Vickie’s new band ViX n The Kix. They may not have left much of a mark, but Fuzzbox earned the approval of most of the KCMU gang, which is quite an achievement in my book.
“Debbie Harry + The Go-Go’s, plus surf music, that’s what this is. Upbeat + poppy – their hair is much meaner than they are – Four British babes trying to be the Pandoras – I’d avoid it, except their version of ‘Spirit in the Sky’ is neat.”
“Fuzzy guitar. Gee, I never would’ve guessed. Imagine a cross between, say Cassandra Complex and the Go-Go’s and a less trashy Frightwig. That might begin to describe this. M maybe.”
“M for sure!”
“M at the very least.”
“I think this is a damned fine LP. Please give it a good chance, eh? Try 2.2 if you don’t believe me.”
“I notice some distinct Kate & Cindy B-52’s vocals here. They look really stupid, but they have a cool name and this might just grow on me.”
“I was wrong about this record. It grows on you like fuzz – it’s great.”
“You probably were having a bad day when you first listened.”