Live Review

Celebrate the riff! Photo by Jennie Warren

Half-in-half-out of the Peach Fuzz kiddie pool: power-pop with too much power, the '90s fallout from a nuked '60s sound. If the Kinks were meant to sound like the Foo Fighters, they wouldn't have bothered with the suits—case in missed-point: der 88—and while Peach Fuzz on their records rein it back a little, tonight they pushed the pedal till it shot out sparks. Second guitarist was romping around cartoon-character-style like he had to make sure the people way back in the bleachers knew how much he loved to rock, which is okay when you're Cheap Trick at the county fair, but Alex's has a more adult-mature vibe—you can even get beer that isn't Bud Lite there, though I didn't for some bad reason. Anyway, a leeeetle cheese-ish. But good thing there was some guy (rumored to be from the famous Some Label, which every band wants to be on!) with a TV camera there (blocking all the good views) because being on TV is always an acceptable excuse for overdoing it. And all gripes aside, there are a lot of bands who think "pop" is just a striped shirt and a Ramones song with worse drumming, and Peach Fuzz are not one of those bands—they are the band that bums those bands toward numbness or worship. Just inside the fuzz were very well-put-together songs, and though a few of the slow ones had a sort of Matthew Sweet hangover (which might make you uncomfortable but won't really hurt you), the meat of the Peach was a real admirable attention to detail. Those harmonies on the hooks mean there's harmony in the way the songs actually fit together: no boring choruses, no crud 4/4 beats that change about like the calendar on the wall, no chord progressions copped off the Ramones (well, maybe one, and it was done so well and knowingly that it had a ton of charm), and all kinds of fun windmill changes in dynamic that maybe made the cartoonishness necessary. If you write a song a certain way, it will sometimes pick you up and throw you around when you are playing it, and Peach Fuzz had a few that were threatening like that. "Celebration of the Riff"—an old one, right?—sounded like the Scruffs plus the Quick (or maybe the Dickies—maybe this whole thing had a Dickies characteristic that I missed?), and that was the one I took home with me. So I could maybe get to love this—if Peach Fuzz were pounding it out untelevised like they must usually do—and if I could, I can't imagine the adoration that awaits them from the stripey messes. Coming soon on Some Label: your new favorite fuzz!

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