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While Nirvana was reigning supreme with their pop-grunge sound, and bands like G&R, STP, and Soundgarden were making their own varied attempts at Led Zeppelin, an LA-based power trio called FUZZ BELOVED were attempting their own interpretation of psychedelia--with classic influences such as: Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Cream, and Blue Cheer. They rehearsed out in Van Nuys at a dismal rehearsal facitily off of Sherman Way which still functions as such today. They gigged around LA, organized two psychedelic festivals in the Mojave desert, and even pulled off a summer diy tour of the US in 1994. But, as fate would have it, the band did not continue. Mark, the drummer, wanted to pursue his mechanical engineering career, and the guitar player, Kevin, felt he could not pursue a professional career as a music executive and keep a band going at the same time. David, the bass player, departed for Europe to cleanse himself of the frustration of seeing so many weekends and years wasted on a project he deeply believed in. Nevertheless, prior to breaking up, the group managed to record a magnificent full-length album, which has remained shelved until now. It was recorded in the church-like living room where David grew up--in the hills of South Pasadena. On the album, Kevin and David alternate vocal parts and sometimes harmonize together. David alternates between 4 and 8-string bass and also plays acoustic guitar on two tracks. Kevin's guitar work is nothing short of brilliant, and so it was a shame to see him eventually move away to Thailand never to be heard from again...Pick up your copy of this rare achievement today.
"Lost Classic" Album Article from Chybucca Sounds, UK (October 2010)
By Simon Hadley
The nineties alternative rock scene changed forever, when three men from Seattle unleashed a poppy-style version of grunge on the world. Bands such as: Pearl Jam and the Stone Temple Pilots profiteered from the explosion of grunge, prompting a rise in sound-a-like bands, hoping to get in on the action. However, in Los Angeles three men refused to bow down to the mainstream, instead choosing to focus on their own interpretation of psychedelic rock.
Fuzz Beloved was ahead of their time in revisiting the early sounds of seventies rock. Sitting dormant since the power-trio’s break up in the mid nineties, band member David Melbye, produced and released a newly mastered version of the album in 2008 through Intrepid Sound Recordings.
“The recording of Fuzz Beloved was an interesting and memorable experience,” explained David. “We did all the basic tracks live in my parents’ old house. My father [who still plays] designed the house to have a huge living room, much like a small church that could accommodate a pipe organ, so the acoustics in there were great for recording just about anything.”
By using an AKAI 12-track analogue tape machine and the best microphones they could get their hands on, Fuzz Beloved had inadvertently stumped across their signature sound.
However, in the following summer, guitarist Kevin Kareth, took the analogue tape machine back to his apartment in nearby Hollywood to re-track many of the guitar parts: “You might say he was inspired at that point, because what he came up with was really brilliant in my opinion,” said David. “In short, he dispensed with all the busy playing he had put down previously, and instead recorded simple, sparse riffs with a really nice dark and quirky quality to them.”
Playing in venues around Los Angeles, also proved to be essential in perfecting the sound that is spread across their only release. From playing these venues, Fuzz Beloved gained a dedicated following, prompting the band to organise two psychedelic rock festivals in the Mojave Desert: “The first one was really just a bunch of local friends, and we invited a second [electronic] band we knew to join us,” explained David. “It was an amazing setting, with desert foothills all around us like a natural amphitheatre. The next year we had about ten bands play and it was really great.”
The success of the Mojave Desert festivals encouraged David to re-visit the idea with his current band, Heavy Water Experiments in 2007, however unlike the mid nineties the festival did not go to plan: “It was a disaster,” David said. “The sleazy guy I had partnered up with the first time sabotaged the festival by mailing our flyers to the local Bureau of Land Management authorities, who did not like seeing that we were going to sell tickets for an event in their desert without acquiring the proper permits from them.” David continues: “When they came to our spot and told us they would be shutting us down, we tried to move to a completely different spot on the same day of the event.” The new location was a two hours drive away from the original Mojave Desert setting and saw the local Bureau of Land Management stepping in to shut the festival down for a second time: “The whole experience really stressed me out, and I decided NO MORE illegal desert festivals after this one,” asserts David. “Funny to think that it was those modest little Fuzz Beloved desert parties in the nineties that lead to all this more recent, and still on going, psychedelic desert festival activity!”
Fuzz Beloved defined a generation for those who were lucky enough to witness or be apart of the small group of bands who decided to shun the pop-grunge mainstream. “We really believed in what we were doing at the time, and even though we never really had any singles, I think that the artistic integrity of our sound still comes across on that album, and so it possesses a timeless quality.”
Glowing Joint Review of Fuzz Beloved and HWE from Terrascope Online, UK
Way back in time, I bought a six track EP by a band called Fuzz Beloved, mainly because of the freaky figure on the cover and the sticker that said “Heavy Psychedelic”, something I was definitely into at the time. Having played the disc it became a perennial favourite, gaining regular airtime on the stereo whilst I searched in vain for more information about the band. Move on to 2008 and whilst reading the press release for Heavy Water Experiments, I realise that main man David Melbye, was the driving force behind Fuzz beloved, and that I had already reviewed HWE when they were known as Imogene. Not only that but there was also a full length Fuzz Beloved album, recorded when they were active, but only released in the last year, bringing things full circle and proving the Gods of Fuzz move in mysterious ways! As to be expected with both bands having the same songwriter, there is a great similarity between these two discs, both containing great slabs of heavy psych, treading the ground between stoner rock and sixties noise merchants such as Blue Cheer. Operating as a duo, HWE manage to create one hell of a racket whilst demonstrating deft touches of lightness and melody on tracks such as “Clairvoyance” and “Solitude”. Elsewhere “Neverlove” has a wonderful riff and a deep, psychedelic heart, whilst final track, “Book Coloured Blue” is a long slow dive into the vortex, the excellent sound augmented (as on the rest of the album) by the use of an eight-stringed bass, giving the album a warm rich texture. Beautifully layered, this is an album of strong songs that becomes richer each time you hear it. Functioning as a classic power trio, Fuzz Beloved were fuelled by the outstanding guitar of Kevin, which added to the fine material, created a body of work that has class written all over it. Once again heavy psych is the order of the day, grungy/stoner riffs and softer passages, merging together as the distant voice of David Melbye knits it together, giving the songs a gentler tone than the guitar would suggest. Both these albums are varied and enticing, the songs choosing the road less travelled, keeping thing interesting and meaning that repeated plays are almost inevitable. (Simon Lewis)
Fuzz Beloved was a power trio from California who were active in the early 90's, who sound like they were inspired by early Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Blue Cheer, etc. Up until now, the band never recorded any albums but recently the bass player/singer David (who's now in a band called Imogene) has made this album available to the public. It seemed that David felt it was the right time and I have to agree. to get this album out to the masses. They were ahead of their time with revisiting the early 70’s rock sound. Their approach to the music is very similar to the bands on the Transubstans Records label but combining a more modern recording atmosphere.
Highlights for me are "Sweet Devil Child", "Dead Balloons", "Fleeting Planet Earth" "Upside Down Smile" and the longest and most experimental sounding track, "As If Were".These are the songs I’m attracted to the most when I listen to the album not to undermine the rest. All are a wonderful trip (pun intended) down memory lane and showing that there still is free think inkers out there that are willing to suffer for their art rather than sell inferior mass produced products. I would recommend this to fans of the afore mentioned bands. It‘s a very enjoyable album!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on February 8th, 2008
Psychotropic Zone (Finland)
Fuzz Beloved was a power trio from California who were active in the early 90’s. They were inspired by classic rock acts such as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Blue Cheer, Pink Floyd etc. The band played some shows around Los Angeles and recorded one album that was never issued, though. Now the bass player/singer David (who’s now in a band called Imogene) has finally made this album available to the public. I’m glad he has, since this is good stuff and doesn’t sound dated at all.
After the weird, spoken-word intro there comes the swinging, mid-tempo ”Happy Communing” that has a solid bass and soft vocals. A great track! “Xenia” is in the same style but a bit more peaceful track. The slower “Sweet Devil Child” is a bit grunge-like. The rather soft and atmospheric but still groovy “Solipsism” follows next. Another slow one is the repetitive “Dead Balloons” that brings to mind Led Zeppelin. At times it gets heavier. The hypnotic and mid-tempo “Fleeting Planet Earth” has a psychedelic atmosphere. It also has some acoustic guitar and mystical electric guitar. You can again sense some grunge influences on the mid-tempo, groovy and pretty heavy number called “Of Eden”. It sounds to me that they have used some Mellotron on a track called “Upside Down Smile”, but at least some synthesiser. This is one of the best tracks on the album, any way, and includes some excellent going. It’s a psychedelic, a bit magical song that includes some speech samples. It really works! The peaceful and acoustic instrumental “Wanderer X” fits in very well after the previous track. Also the mid-tempo, groovy and quite heavy number “Sun Charade” has some samples, and the one at the end is the same we have used at one point with my band Dark Sun in our gig intro… It’s a small world. The mind-blowing and experimental “As It Were” includes psych sounds and weird noises and the end is rather freaky. This is also a pretty long track. Then we still have the beautiful “Kiss My Brainchild” that wraps things up very nicely with just acoustic guitar and vocals. In summary: this is a very good album!