Fu Manchu - "Eatin' Dust" (Man's Ruin/Mammoth 1998, MR 157CD)

From Aural Innovations #8 (October 1999)

Being a collection of various EP releases by these very heavy sludge maniacs, it opens with a monster version of Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla", with a truly primitive yelp of a delivery of the chorus "Go go Godzilla!" - it sounds like singer/guitarist Scott Hill is attempting to scream himself awake while Godzilla stomps through his neighborhood, cheering him on (no, they are a US band, not from Tokyo)! The shortened crazy midsection has the usual overloaded guitar fx with Scott Hill, now sounding half sedated, going "God...zill-aaah...!!". A true classic in the cover version department.

Most of the stuff here is prime lobotomizing Fu Manchu material, though not as varied as 1997's studio proper effort "The Action Is Go!". The track "Module Overload" has spacy synth sounding guitar fx towards the end, being the most "spacerock" of the tracks here, while "Living Legend" is almost narrative in its lyrics, and it all continues rumblingly in sludgy Fu Manchu vein through tracks like "Shift Kicker" and "Orbiter" amongst others, all dominated by a brutal valium assault of overloaded guitar riffs, bass and primitive pounding drums. This band is a bit hard to describe in their simplistic approach, like a mammoth (literally!) guitar player shot full of tranquilizers still belting out the tunes by stomping on the fuzz pedals, sorta similar to early Mudhoney on lots of weed and downers, but without the angst and the added touch of sci fi. The title track kicks total ass! What more can I say, it all seems samey, fuzzy and comfy. Try it.

You can visit Fu Manchu at their web site.

Reviewed by Christian Mumford

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