A Warm, Fuzzy Feeling

The garage doors of perception

You'll find no hit singles as big as "Psychotic Reaction" or "96 Tears" in The Knights of Fuzz: The Garage & Psychedelic Music Explosion, 1980 to Now DVD (Dionysus), historian Timothy Gassen's fanboy's-eye view of the post-Nuggets wave of garage bands Little Steven's always going on about. But it's certainly not for lack of quality material. Gassen breezes through some quick historical perspective laced with interviews, but mostly, he lets the music do the talking. And the better tracks here speak with attitude of the ongoing impact of '60s garage, from the Chesterfield Kings, whose "99th Floor" is a swaggering standout, to The Cynics' "Girl You're On My Mind." It's such an image-driven movement that even the straightest band performance clips can be a blast to watch, especially with front men as exciting as The Cynics' incomparable Michael Kastelic. But if some bands want to go that extra mile and camp it up a bit, well, that's cool, too. The Gruesomes do The Monkees proud in their infectious romp through "Hey!," a smile-inducing instrumental. The Untamed Youth go on location at a boardwalk carnival. And The Fuzztones prove you can't go wrong with an insane asylum for a backdrop in "Ward 81."
 
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