Davie Allan / Joel Grind – Split – 10″/CD/DD 2016
“Of course it does, hahaha!”. This is my first thought when Davie Allan’s new jam, Recycled Too crunches in with motorcycles blasting and a big fat, snarling, fuzzed out riff. It’s been this way for 50 years, why bother changing that shit now? It rules!
To hell with the Pythagorean Theorem, what public education SHOULD teach is that Davie Allan And The Arrows are the original seed of fuzz. Argue the Ventures’ 2000lb Bee or the Stones’ Satisfaction and you’d be wrong. Those tracks may have been recorded with the Velcro tones of the Fuzzbox a year or three before him, but they didn’t commit the way Davie did. Those bands used a fuzz pedal as a novel effect. This was the guy’s calling card; his signature. A lifetime of music based on the ripping, buzz saw, fuzz of the Maestro Fuzztone. Davie Allan single-handedly created the soundtrack to an entire genre of film and damn near a whole decade of guitar rock. His scowl on the cover of his early records is copied by every horror punker and the entire concept is so California it’s sickening.
Like I said, the EP blasts in with Allan and Recycled Too. Motorcycles, a surf riff, and that signature fuzz tone. This is silly, driving music, that’ll make any drab commute seem like a run from the law. I’ve always been a huge surf fan, I even play in an all-instrumental surf band here in Tennessee called, Appalachian Surf Team, and I can tell you that Davie’s tone is not easy to replicate. It’s a complete pain in the ass to keep such a crazy, blistering fuzz controlled. Feedback, treble issues, and the overall tones take a master’s touch, i.e., not me.
Buzz Saw Effect has to be a homage to the pedal on which he’s made his legacy. A blues progression with surfy breaks, guitar harmonies and whammy bar work keep the track fun and exciting. Neither of the two of his contributions are sinister like his biker movie recordings could be, but it’s still loud and grinding stuff that’s essential for any huge fan, i.e. me.
The other half of the split is with Joel Grind. Yep, that Joel Grind, leader and resident madman of Toxic Holocaust, which at first, had me like, “whaaa?” But Toxic Holocaust is old-school thrash and he’s always utilized a lot of right hand, tremolo picking technique that’s vital to the traditional surf sound, so…
Invisible Landscape is what you’d imagine a thrash metal guy making a surf/spy track would be. Double kick drums and a breakdown section all in a modified I-IV-V arrangement with moody synth. The opening riff is eerily, lawsuit-ready-similar, to Dick Dale’s Nitro, a tune he recorded later in his career. Either way, it’s an entertaining and comical listen.
His other contribution to the record is Peacekeeper which is another surf/thrash/fuzz romp that can’t help but remind me of when Anthrax did Pipeline on the Attack of the Killer B’s record. Sirens and guitars wailing on a break help create the futuristic, militant, image of a task force rolling through a bombed out, nuclear wasteland, dispensing sadistic sex and justice to the perceived heels of the new order. Or something like that.
I <3 surf. I grew up with it. I love the fact that’s its sans vocals to create soundscapes that can take you to a sunny beach, chock full of buxom go-go girls, or to the outer limits of a desert universe overrun by leather, V8’s, and martial law. Stoner rock dudes are all about fuzz pedals, but usually it’s the Big Muffs, Fuzz Faces, and Superfuzzes that garner the interest. The Maestro Fuzztone, the original super-blaster, isn’t for everyone. But it’ll make you stand out, like it did with Davie Allan And The Arrows.
Label: Relapse Records
Davie Allan: Official
Joel Grind: Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter
Scribed by: Drew Fulton