Along with labelmates Drop Nineteens and fellow Virginians Velocity Girl, Fudge was one of the few American bands to incorporate the slurred shoegazing sound so popular in early-'90s Britain into their music. But as they show on The Ferocious Rhythm of Precise Laziness, they rely less on the genre's ubiquitous drone than the former and less on its trademark shifting dynamics than the latter, serving it up with relatively high-register vocals, a tight, frequently dub reggae groove, and a hazy, post-R.E.M. indie rock sensibility. This is an album that succeeds at sounding like nothing else, from the needle-on-the-record crackle that prefaces the languid-but-punchy "Oreo Dust" to the longish "Wayside," which starts out as a pop song and ends with three-minute dub jam. Though the mix doesn't pull them to the surface and the lyrics don't always do them justice, the songs are the stars here, with several -- including the deliciously blurry "Mull" and the hopping, early-R.E.M. jangle of "Drive" -- showing real promise. With the power of Caroline behind it and constant touring on the part of the band, The Ferocious Rhythm of Precise Laziness made a name for Fudge on college campuses upon its 1993 release. The gross-out cover and pop-culture-obsessed song titles aside, it still holds up well as a period piece -- perhaps the most creative and frequently successful example of an extremely short-lived movement in the fickle, forgetful world of American indie pop.
The Ferocious Rhythm of Precise Laziness Review
by Steve May