FUZZ MANTA (Opus II) LP/CD
FUZZ MANTA belongs to the sort of heavy rock bands which makes one forget that we live in the year 2011. While listening to the band's second album 'Opus II', it does rather seem as if it's still 1972. This also means that innovation is a foreign word for FUZZ MANTA, but that doesn't get to me. In general, I'd rather take a band of passionate revivalists instead of a pseudo-innovative group which desperately tries to come up with something new - only to fail. And FUZZ MANTA is definitely a bunch of passionate and talented musicians who have learned their trade from scratch. There is also the fact that they dealt intensively with the classic hardrock acts of the 1970's and the later works of Trouble. However, this does not mean that FUZZ MANTA are short of own ideas. This is soon noticed when one hears the well-crafted songs on 'Opus II', which are saturated with lots of crispy fuzz.
The album kicks off with the crunching, strong chords of 'Motumann'. This song is a great opportunity for all the band members to shine and we see varied guitar work, catchy bass hooks, inspired drumming and striking female vocals. In particular, singer Lene Kjaer Hvillum is giving the songs an individual face, and thus significantly increases the recognition value of FUZZ MANTA. She has this warm, dark timbre which gently flows through my ear canals like honey. The injection of heaviness in the first song gives the album the jump start it needs to belt out more 1970's guitar rock. However, there is a change of pace with 'Quiet Monday'. This calm song is a blend of passionate acoustic and electric guitars, where again Lene Kjaer Hvillum shows her skills.
Then we have more classic heavy rock with 'Lithia's Box' whereas 'White And More' brings a proto-metal edge to the bluesy background. One of my favourite tracks is 'Let Me Walk' that starts unspectacularly. After a warming phase of about three minutes the band enters psychedelic jam-rock territory, only to suddenly take on an wonderful extended blues jam where especially guitarist Frederik Jensen and Lene Kjaer Hvillum are able to cut a good figure. This is supplemented by a well tempered hammond organ that does not arise only here. I personally think that 'Opus II' is FUZZ MANTA's best work which is intensified through a powerful, earthy production. If you desire a thick wall of psychedelic-tinged 1970's hardrock then FUZZ MANTA should assuredly appeal to you.