Tag Archives: Cardinal Fuzz

YOU’RE SMILING NOW BUT WE’LL ALL TURN INTO DEMONS: Contact High (2LP, Cardinal Fuzz CFUL013)

You're Smiling Now But We'll All Turn Into Demons - Contact High

Nestling down at the far end of the alphabet – in between Young Knives and The Zodiac – it’s the heftily-named You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons. This is a band that’s hovered around my radar for quite some time; I seem to remember that they once sent a demo and asked about playing the music festival that I help to organise, many years ago. It didn’t work out that time, I’m not quite sure why, as they’re a good band with a strong line in fuzz rock that ticks a variety of boxes for me: a bit late-1960s, a bit Melvins-esque noise, a bit Hawkwind.

This album was released in 2014, according to Discogs, but there isn’t a year mentioned on the sleeve or on the records. I bought it around the time of its release, not only because hearing about its availability tweaked my “oh, them!” memory banks, but because the Cardinal Fuzz label is a reliably strong source of decent music that’s likely to be positioned somewhere or other up my street. The label’s run by a hard-workin’, good egg named Dave, who also produces – every now and then – a great-looking and great-reading fanzine called Optical Sounds. According to the blurb on this album’s Bandcamp page, Cardinal Fuzz was partly kicked off in order to release this YSNBWATID album: “One of the main reasons we at Cardinal Fuzz entered the choppy waters of record making was with the sole intention of doing justice to this gloriously fuzzy psych/garage monster on the format it truly belongs.”

The record’s front cover, and a photograph on an insert contained within, hints at the four-piece band – I’m presuming it’s the band members shown – being part of some kind of robe-wearing, Satan-hassling cult. There’s some groovy-style hand-done typography on the sleeve, and the back cover (shown below) follows in its style, with a tritone high-contrast image of the band members. (A tritone is, of course, The Devil’s Sound; how appropriate). The artwork overall is credited (on the insert) to the band. The insert also mentions that the record was mastered by one ‘Peter J Croissant’: I don’t believe that that’s a real name. Those jokers.

The album is out of print now, but can be listened to and downloaded via Bandcamp:

THE OSCILLATION: Cable Street Sessions (12″, Cardinal Fuzz CFUL024, 2014)

The Oscillation - Cable Street Sessions

Cardinal Fuzz has become one of my favourite record labels of recent times – they seem as concerned with a high quality of finish and design on their releases as I think any label should be, and their records all spin around the axis of noisy, guitar-based psychedelic/experimental music. Win, and indeed win.

Cable Street Sessions is a new 12″ by The Oscillation, who have here four pretty intense, pretty aggressive repeato-fuzz pieces that include a cover of The Deviants’ ‘Somewhere To Go’. They’re a superb live band – I’ve put them on a couple of times before as part of the festival I co-run, and never not been impressed. They’ve also got some interesting connections – drummer Valentina Magaletti has been in about 15,000 bands in the past, and has been a name that consistently crops up as one makes one’s way around the independent music world; bass player Tom Relleen is also an excellent booking agent (one of the good guys in an industry that seems increasingly full of… not-so-good guys).

A designer isn’t credited either on the sleeve or the insert that comes with this record; although the photography on both is by Anita Awbi. It’s a fun design, with the heavily treated cover photograph psych-ed up with its repeated distorted circle motif, and typography that shifts things in a slightly gonzo/punk direction. And, of course, it’s printed onto reflective mirror board, to up the stakes in terms of shininess and can’t-take-a-photograph-without-accidentally-doing-a-selfie-ness. (It also reminds me of The Verve’s A Northern Soul album packaging, which was similarly reflective).

“Some of the heaviest and best kraut-a-delic music out there…” says the label’s website about this record. They’re not far wrong.

Links: The Oscillation / Cardinal Fuzz