Fuji Heavy

Brighton-based Fuji Heavy are not what I expected. There is a lot of retro around at the moment (especially in London) and by its very nature, its a very distilled affair with valvey guitars, nicotine induced vocals, and somewhat predictable songs. One might say that some retro bands are intense purists who wouldn’t approve of a guitar less than 40 years old and insist on at a minimum of one-third facial hair coverage.

The first thirty seconds of ‘Sunburn’ throws all that out of the window in a torrent of dirty pond water. Intense guitar chords, random spikey notes, keyboard in the chorus, and enough gain to fry a sound engineer is the order of the day.

There are still some recognisable elements in the sound, including the vocal, which is almost Hives-esque in nature, and the bass, which pumps out some great rhythms. However, Fuji Heavy are obviously uninhibited by any stylistic constraints when they lay down a record.

‘Face Like a Criminal’ continues the theme, embracing and defying the retro sound simultaneously; adding their stamp to a song that could have revolutionised the Brit Pop era. The vocal takes a different path in this song, with a cheeky spoken element that suits the lyrics.

Third track, ‘Glitterama’, has a rhythm that (as the title suggests) conjures up the 70’s Glam Rock era. However, this isn’t a tribute to Glam having distinctly rock ‘n’ roll guitars and chorus with big cymbal crashing drumming backing everything up.

Fuji Heavy haven’t necessarily invented a genre with this record, it’s more a case of taking one or two that already exist and screwing them up in to a paper ball to throw at teacher when he’s not looking. Delightfully playful and actually rather good.

Smith
Stuart 'Saur' Smith was a prolific writer for The Mag throughout the magazine's lifetime. He combined a day job of temporary office jobs in London with a nightlife of trawling the capital's music venues looking for talent. As well as writing about music, he was a session musician who featured on a number of singles in the 90s. Today, Stuart is a Chief Writer for Phonotonal.