SINGLE REVIEW: 'ANIMAL' BY FUZZ LIGHTYEAR
Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Self-proclaimed noise-grunge triplet Fuzz Lightyear deliver their debut, birthed kicking and screaming into the Leeds punk scene. Having graced the beautifully gross DIY stages of Leeds, ‘Animal’ smoothly transitioned from raising anticipation to scarfing down a steaming hot plate of appreciation. With a name like theirs, they’re just asking for a review so nerdy the reader can’t help but paint a knobbly-kneed, centre parting picture of the writer. So here goes...
I wanna live like an animal, die like a man. ‘Animal’ by name, animal by nature; Fuzz Lightyear welcome you to bludgeon yourself senseless with their raucous debut, ‘Animal’. Allow me to ponder that if a song could embody a meat tenderiser, it would be this one. To examine such a monolithic aural experience, I deem it only respectful to start chronologically, beginning with that initial gut-punching guitar riff. This is the staple of the song which, within seconds, houses the other elements like vocalist Ben Parry’s ‘Cobain’-esque delivery. His stylistic wailing borderline drowns in the sonic spin-kick that is created by skinsman, Josh Tayler and bassist, DRAB’s very own Varun Govil.
If you’re still on your feet by the first verse, be warned- you’re in for a hell of a ride. The primary hauntingly unsettling build followed by a menacing, face melting drop into the intro is like being savaged by a pack of professional wrestlers. Each and every verse epitomises grunge’s lethargy, and every chorus in some way turns that up to 11. Fuzz Lightyear somehow manage to thrash about a sluggish and almost carelessly unenthusiastic style, in a particular way that brings the full-force energy and stage personas that make us as an audience thank them for their arrogance. Whilst the guys are some of the most gentle souls I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet in person (go on, tell me I’m biased), and whilst this trio are known for wearing dresses in their previous live performances, I’m not surprised that this song packs the fistful of animosity that it does.
Bassist Varun, Wharf Chambers, 22/01/20
As we reach the breakdown, we are sent round a blue-balls inducing rollercoaster of expectation and dismissal, injected with tension and false release: Fuzz Lightyear toy with us like that scene from Avengers where Hulk throws Loki around like a dog with a chew toy. You know the one I mean… Eventually, when the band are satisfied, the lyrics “I wanna live like an animal, eat like an animal, fuck like an animal, die like a man” are repetitively spewed into an abyss of eerie musical accompaniment. Eager anticipation for that riff that we love so much is relieved when we’re slapped in the face ten times harder than we were in the intro.
Just when you feel like it’s all over, and you’re reduced to a puddle with nothing but the remnants of your headphones floating in your liquid remains: a four-count throws you back into the same riff… but FASTER! Suddenly all foundations of post-punk are uprooted; no longer do we, as listeners want the same riff but slower, we want it harder and faster. And throw a pint at me and find me in the mosh, do Fuzz Lightyear provide.
If at any time when listening to ‘Animal’ you begin to feel queasy I recommend you speak to your GP- I hear a song like this can often cause a clinical condition known to the rock-community as a ‘busted gut’. To risk sounding like the greasy DIY rock music enthusiast that I am: Fuzz Lightyear are killer, and ‘Animal’ rips. Thus, I urge you to put on a pair of headphones, queue this song and revisit a secondary school ‘bully circle’ in musical form.
Writing by Luc Gibbons
Album artwork by Ella Beatrice
Photography by Alice Nancy