The ‘90s are back in a big way- just ask Long Island garage-rock duo Fool Heavy. Seamlessly melding elements of the era’s grunge and alternative wave they’ve forged a sound that’s somehow both nostalgic - in its carefree self-deprecation and Cobain-esque guitars - and modern, with a steadfast aggression akin to today's apathetic millennia. Fool Heavy’s got the guts, the glory, and just the right amount of angst to bring forth the best parts of the musical culture that defined a generation. Generation X, that is.
The band’s inaugural LP, Gusto which is out today and available as a pay-what-you-want release on Bandcamp, pays homage to a world that’s grown sarcastic, impatient, and sick of being unheard. The eight-song debut calls upon a youthful apathy, with outrageous highs and flickering lows in way that’s cathartic, familiar, and unapologetically honest. Singer-songwriter Taylor Berke (ex-Soda Bomb) and co-vocalist Sam Coughlin are unafraid to hold a mirror to themselves in a raw display of conviction in both the delivery, and the message itself – life is shitty; live it up while you can. Through the span of the record, they’ll convince you to do just that.
Michael Abiuso of The Gay Blades and The Venetia Fair recorded, mixed, and mastered Gusto at Behind the Curtains Media‘s studio in a way that raises a glass to its ‘90s predecessors. Dialing in thrashing drums, melodic mid-range bass and a hell of a lot of reverb, Abiuso serves as both producer and puppet-master to hone in a sound that’s unique to the duo. Each note, each squeal of feedback, and each and every distorted holler feels relevant and important. And while Gusto may be Fool Heavy’s freshman effort, its clear that this isn’t the pair’s first rodeo.
The writing is strong, it’s authentic, and it engages over and over. With witty lyrical quips and ethereal hooks, the band’s double vocal dynamic proves to be the driving force behind songs that refuse to be predictable. It’s a powerful record and a promising first-offering from two minds venturing off the deepest ends of mania. If it’s any indication of what Fool Heavy has to offer this world, you’re in for a frenzied and fearless ride.