Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fulflej - Wack-Ass Tuba Riff (Scratchie, 1996)

"An actual wack-ass tuba riff would have been an interesting thing to have, but even without it, Fulflej creates a reasonable enough set of mid-'90s semi-alt-rock with what sure sounds like inspiration from early-'90s shoegazing, as well. Similar to fellow Chicago denizens Catherine, Fulflej owes a certain debt to the Smashing Pumpkins' fusion of styles -- heaven knows opening number "Quite Like This" could be a Siamese Dream B-side, thick crunch, massive, soaring guitar solos, and all. That James Iha and D'arcy make guest appearances makes even more sense, but then again it was their co-owned label Scratchie which released the album in the first place (another Scratchie-connected musician, Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger, pops up as well). Singer and main instrumentalist MC No Joke G has a much more breathy, whispery way around singing, though -- those put off by Billy Corgan's wracked screams may find Wack-Ass Tuba Riff a much more tolerable prospect as a result. There are also a lot more overt humor and funny good times -- the various credits and nutty cover art help show that much -- which gives Fulflej more of its own amiable identity." (

Fulflej initially caught the attention of Smashing Pumpkins bassist Darcy when they were opening for her husband's band, Catherine, who I previously featured here. Darcy was so impressed that she brought to the band to the new Polygram/Mercury-distributed label she had founded with fellow Pumpkin James Iha, Scratchie Records. And as mentioned in allmusic's review, Fulflej weren't too far off from Catherine or the Pumpkins, sonically speaking. Unfortunately the Pumpkin connection didn't translate to widespread attention for Fulflej, though they were able score a spot in a promotional ad for a Power Rangers movie in 1997 (included below). 

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