Fuzz Townshend

Fuzz Townshend

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Fuzz Townshend is all over the place on his eponymously titled sophomore effort, and the results are decidedly mixed. There's no denying Townshend's talent. This former Pop Will Eat Itself frontman and Bentley Rhythm Ace drummer wrote and played almost everything here himself. Careening from genre to genre with aplomb, range definitely isn't the issue. At times it feels like Townshend is pushing the issue, too, though -- variety for variety's sake -- and the material here lacks focus. Townshend's influences are innumerable, and he wears them on his sleeve proudly, accounting for both the best and worst moments here. The Stooges-inspired riffing on "Ain't It Great" is downright deadly, and the British Invasion rave-up "C'mon C'mon" is wonderful. On the other hand, there's the trippy, happy-go lucky "bokka" and the blues-borrowing "Sunny Feet," which could easily pass for discarded demos by the Happy Mondays and Beck, respectively. It would be unfair to chalk this up to any kind of sophomore slump; there's plenty of good stuff here, and Fuzz Townshend shows a marked improvement over his catchy, though one-dimensional, solo debut, Far In. There's still a long way to go, though.

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