Saturday, 8 February 2014

7 inch singles collection: We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It - Your Loss, My Gain

Here's Fuzzbox:


A-side: Your Loss, My Gain
B-Side: Pink Sunshine (acoustic)

(WEA 1990)

When "The Boys Own Bumper Book Of Brilliant Band Names" is eventually released I'm sure that there'll be an entry for We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It. It's a fantastic name, just by virtue of being too long and slightly silly, but even better when you shorten it just Fuzzbox it sounds like it might possibly be a bit rude, especially in conjunction with  fact it the moniker of an all female band. (it's not of course - it's the name of a guitar effects pedal in case you were unaware). All of which endears me to this band. Their early output was a bit rough and ready in the indie punk vein, all wrapped up in "Can't believe we're doing this" attitude. A bit ramshackle DIY and occasionally discordant and noisy, but definitely fun.

Your Loss, My Gain was their final single, and long gone was the the slightly amateurish feel, discarded along with the multicoloured hairdos and associated trappings. Now in was was a bright clean slick sound and look. This song is so highly polished you could use it as a mirror - all of the rough edges have long gone and so has much of the charm of their earlier days. There's still a sense of fun in this record, but innocence and charm have been traded in for sophistication and glamour - which doesn't quite hit the spot for me. Your Loss, My Gain is a perfectly serviceable piece of power pop that feels more or less like the missing link between Bananarama and Transvision Vamp.

Over on the the B-side is an acoustic version of an earlier hit, Pink Sunshine. Again this was from their polished power pop era - a brash and shiny hit, showing the band at most fancy free and confident. The acoustic version of this Pink Sunshine showcases this but adds an extra layer of vulnerability, stripping away the power, but adding a great deal more warmth. 

When looking for the video to link I had a look at a lot of other Fuzzbox tracks, and found out that their guitarist, Jo, died a couple of years ago in her early 40's. This made me sadder than I expected, maybe it's because I'm a similar age, but more because I one thing I never associated with Fuzzbox is sadness. They exuded a sense of fun, and that being diminished is something that really plays with the emotions. Some bands aspire to greatness through skill and talents, some bands aspiring to nothing more than having a bit of fun, and through that achieve greatness. I know which of those I prefer.

Next time a solo offering from a guitar legend.

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