Fuzz-worthy melodies invade Atlanta’s west side

Written by Scott Belzer | May 15th, 2023

When the Reverb/Stoner/Desert Rock Hall of Fame is established (and it will be, damn it), there’s a good chance you’ll recognize such heavy hitters as Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Yawning Man, and Wo Fat. But there’s also a good chance you’ll see some of the more local underdogs, and The Buzzards of Fuzz will be among them.

Since 2014, the Atlanta carrion have brought bass-driven psychedelic sounds to the masses, checking every box in the genre’s checklist. Do you want meditative-but-haunting vocals? They got’em. A stoner anthem that transcends space and time? They have that, too. Fun, party-worthy melodies that make you want to grab a partner and do-si-do? Oh yeah.

The Buzzards of Fuzz effortlessly recreate the Desert Rock sound that took over the southwest in the early ‘90s but add a southern flair into the mix. It’s just as much Greg Allman as it is Josh Homme or Brant Bjork, just as swampy as it is sandy. The riffs take a trip up to the moon but spend some quality time in the hot, humid forests that never stop trying to reclaim Atlanta. Pulsing (but not overpowering) rhythms provide a swinging, straightforward base for it to launch from, and it’s hard to not want to jump on a Harley, crank up an old Cadillac—or classic Ford farm truck—and hit the road as soon as the Buzzards’ melodies invade your ears. It’s a trip, but one so catchy and atmospheric that you want to take it again and again.

The Buzzards of Fuzz are leading the pack for one of those trips on May 20 at Boggs Social & Supply. They’ll be joined by Baltimore rockers Knub as well as Athens’ Mcqqeen and Atlanta’s own wrecking ball, NAW. 

Knub brings their own blend of heavier-than-hell and reverb-ridden rock to the table. The band’s website aptly describes Knub’s sound as made up of “seismic riffs,” and “a singer with a set of pipes potentially lifted from a church organ.” Knub’s seismic sound stems from guitarist Ben Zamzow’s tendency to jump between high-toned, distorted shrieks and join the netherworld of Nick McIntoshed filthy bass riffs—all while vocalist Dave Ort and drummer Greg Woodward lead listeners through earthquake-worthy song structures. 

Like The Buzzards of Fuzz, Knub would fit like a glove on any Desert Rock bill, resurrecting sounds that have laid dormant for almost three decades. What sets Knub apart—and what set many bands from that decade apart from their contemporaries—is their ability to balance making you want to run through a brick wall with making you want to space out and enjoy the vibe. Headbang or sway. Dance or mosh. Knub will keep melting your face either way.

Mcqqeen’s sound is more on the psychedelic end of the spectrum, so prepare accordingly. The garage rock sounds are straightforward and catchy but also drenched in so much reverb, pedal effects, and distortion that it’s hard to properly classify. The four-piece’s most recent album, II, brings a bit of everything to the table and shows off the band’s range, a la King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard. Be ready to rock when Mcqqeen hits the stage because this high-energy band does it all.

And if it’s fuzz-ridden, high-energy rock you’re looking for, Atlanta’s NAW will be delivering it full speed on May 20. NAW’s sound comes from deep down in the bowels of Atlanta’s filth-ridden creeks, sewers, and side streets. It’s a spaced-out punk rock flirting with heavy metal that’s becoming all too rare amid shows conforming to one genre or another, offering a wide range of screams and melodic vocals accompanied by frenetic, effect-laden melodies. You’ll want to set the venue ablaze hearing NAW’s raw aggression and complex orchestrations—right after you get over the inevitable bangover. The band rightfully fits onto almost any bill, as they offer a tongue-in-cheek, kickass good time to any appreciator of loud, heavy music. Keep gnawin’ on NAW, y’all—you won’t regret it. 

The Buzzards of Fuzz perform with Knub, McQQEEN, and NAW in Atlanta on Saturday, May 20th at Boggs Social & Supply. Tickets are online HERE.