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Fuzz Fest 2014: 3 Days of Gritty Rock and Distortion

“ ‘Fuzz can describe a lot of music: Punk, metal, psych—they all put fuzz to good use,’ says Bad Indians singer/guitarist Jules Nehring -- via Jeff Milo,

Ypsilanti, MI -- April 2014 is the final curtain call for Woodruff’s, and for 3 days -- April 10, 11, and 12th -- feedback fanatics felt the buzz of Fuzz Fest, a celebration of Washtenaw-area drone, psychedelic, nu-gaze, lo-fi, metal, and garage music. An impressive lineup of 33 bands, with a  psychedelic lightshow by Overhead Army, Fuzz Fest organizer Chris Taylor (guitar/vocals, Blue Snaggletooth) created a perfect realm of hard-pounding, eardrum-popping, gritty rock. The show was perfectly paced, with only a short delay between each band’s set -- Woodruff’s provided two stage areas for performances. Each band that played Fuzz Fest threw a unique punch to the lineup, with heavy-hitters The Ruiners, The Muggs, Blue Snaggletooth, and Van Houten.

Haunted Leather at Fuzz Fest 

Saturday night started out with Hydropark, followed by All The Wild Children, a bluesy-punk foursome from Highland, MI.  Haunted Leather (Grand Rapids, MI) brought a shoegaze-y, Brian Jonestown Massacre-like sound. Joseph Conrad,, referred to Haunted Leather as “slow-motion mystery”, which is spot-on. DRI-influenced Lord Centipede (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti) sped up the pace with their brand of thrash at breakneck speed, followed by stoner rockers, Lava Moth.

Lizerrd, a Punk/Noise-Rock group out of Ypsilanti, began their musical career as a The Jesus Lizard tribute band. These guys stayed true to their origin, and brought it hard. Lead singer Anthony Gentile’s David Yow-inspired performance thoroughly entertained, he was superb at engaging the audience. Fuzz Fest closed with The Amino Acids, reverb specialists from outer space.

Now that Fuzz Fest 2014 is a distorted, fantastic memory, some questions remain: with the closing of Woodruff’s at the end of April, will there be a Fuzz Fest 2015? Can the Fuzz momentum roll into a new venue? This writer is hopeful.