We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It!!: Bostin’ Steve Austin Splendiferous Edition album review

fuzzbox-steve-austin-front-coverWe’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It!! – Bostin’ Steve Austin (Splendiferous Edition) (Cherry Red)

Double CD

Released 28th January

We’ve Got A Fuzzbox & We’re Going To Use It!! were a riot of backcombed hair, Day-Glo and cuteness. They erupted into a drab indie scene and threw up all over it. This is their first and best album, Adrian Bloxham remembers.

This is the sound of eighties awkwardness and naivety. The whole thing with Fuzzbox was that when they started they couldn’t play and they didn’t care. A riot of backcombed hair, Day-Glo and cuteness. They erupted into a drab indie scene and threw up all over it. To give an example, I first saw them three bands down the bill below the Shop Assistants and the Jesus and Mary Chain. They spent their time swapping instruments making an unholy racket and giggling. They were wonderful. This is their first album originally released in 1986. They reinvented themselves as a slick pop act later in the decade but today we don’t care about that. This is the period when they just did what they wanted.

There are drums, violins, saxophones, trumpets and guitar with a fuzzbox. To be honest, they just did what the name of the band says, turned the fuzzbox on high and used it to hide any musical short comings. The songs are rudimentary, almost childlike. To quote Tina’s sleeve notes ‘we wrote songs about stuff that mattered to us: inequality, rape and Thatcher’s Britain; we wrote stuff that mattered to neither man nor beast’. The songs have a childlike feel to them, not crap, just that they didn’t bloody care.

The best songs by a mile are also the first they brought out, ‘XX Sex’ and ‘Rules and Regulations’, both dayglo punk pop indie classics. The rest of the album is good but not brilliant.

 

The second disc contains everything else from this era, single versions of songs, remixes and to quote the disarmingly frank Tina again ‘Some of the ‘bonus’ tracks on this are diabolical and really should have been destroyed at birth!! Sorry ‘bout that!’. So you could say it’s a bit patchy.

The singles have already been on the album, just in slightly different versions. The songs are even more rudimentary than the album, and as Fuzzbox were all about just doing it and not caring it’s still worth hearing.

Highlights are the wonderful ‘Rockin’ with Rita’ by the Vindaloo Summer Special with all the artists on the label singing. ‘Radio Fuzzbox’ is an eighteen minute fake radio show complete with interviews with football fans, a brain teaser, adverts and live music…it is utterly bonkers.

The other songs that stand out are the cover of ‘Fever’ and a completely irreverent acapella cover of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’which has to be heard to be believed!

They went on to achieve chart success with pop masterpieces like ‘International Rescue’ but it never felt the same. They split in 1990, reformed briefly in 2010 before splitting again. In 2012 guitarist Jo Dunne passed away after a short illness. This reissue is dedicated to her.

We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It!! were wonderful, this album is great, it puts a smile on your face and a spring in your step and you too can wonder what on Earth they were thinking…

Fuzzbox’s website can be found here and are also on Facebook here.

All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.

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  1. twitter_wolffyy1

    Hastings band Maid Of Ace do a great cover of ‘Rules and Regulations’
    http://youtu.be/pZNmJu1A4cU check out their other tunes on youtube

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