'Love Juice' Album Review by Steve Meli

 

 Fuzzhoneys emerged fully fledged over four years ago with the banger and definite fan-favourite "Soul". Over the next couple of years they would build up a strong reputation with hit after hit after hit and their debut EP "CD Tal Genn" cemented their status as one of the brightest prospects of the Maltese alternative scene. Midway through 2017 Fuzzhoneys released "Period", and later "Femmetastic" as singles. Both these songs (especially the latter), hinted at a grittier, louder sound and more complex song structures.

December 2017 saw the release of “Zine”, a teaser to the debut album, which featured the aforementioned 2 songs plus "Glitter". With the strength of these 3 songs, the anticipation for the duo's debut album skyrocketed. Those three songs act as the fulcrum of new album "Lovejuice". "Femmetastic" is still their most accomplished song, and at almost five minutes long it dwarfs everything on their debut EP in every way possible. I remember listening to “Femmetastic” for the first time over a year ago and I was absolutely floored by how thrilling, fiery and dynamic this single sounded. Although “Femmetastic” might be one of the most complex compositions the band has recorded to date, this is not to the detriment of the playfulness which made them stand out in the first place.

This does not mean that the new songs are in anyway inferior to the songs already found on “Zine”. “Manage” is an early stand out and if you could squeeze the Fuzzhoneys’ sound into a defining three-minute song, this would be it. It’s got all the hallmarks of what makes them tick, a highly memorable bluesy guitar riff, a groovy drum pattern and Francesca’s distinct vocals to top it off. Lyrics such as “I shouldn’t be ashamed to cry / And I don’t mean to pry / I’m a man just the way I am / So why should Simon have the last say?” are the essence to the album’s prime concept; accepting who you are and being yourself.

“Lovejuice”’s middle-section throws us the singles, with both “Candy” and “Cream” sandwiching the already released “Glitter”. The former taps into alternative rock territory and the infectious vocal interchanges and melodies remind me of early-nineties alternative legends The Breeders. Meanwhile, the summery “Cream” is all about almost every young adult’s dream to own a car and drive and it’s just as fun and irresistible as they come.

The album’s final stretch is somewhat darker, even thematically there’s a sense of hopelessness especially on the menacing “Luna”. The delivery of lyrics such as “Oh your sweet misery / Blinded by your owner’s safety / Your innocent existence / Oh how you lost persistence.” and later “Your master is a chain / Tied, bleeding and Sustained.” are Francesca’s most affecting yet. “Amy”, the album’s final track contains a keyboard intro courtesy of Samuel Attard. At almost six minutes long this is the longest Fuzzhoneys’ song ever and as it oscillates between quiet/loud dynamics, it offers a fitting end to an album that definitely meets the expectations!

Steve Meli

Fuzzhoneys Malta