The Fuzztones just can’t get any respect. Rudi Protrudi is the best stage name since Jello Biafra, and his musical style skates down that urgent slope of SoCal surf punk and retro rockabilly. This smashing two-disc retrospective mixes hits, covers, interviews, and promo material; it feels like a Night Flight retrospective. Martha Quinn and Rodney Bingenheimer chime in, and the covers alone are worth the price of admission. The Ramones “53rd and 3rd” is actually decipherable, Ian Astbury (The Cult) chimes in on MC5’s” Kick out the Jams” and classics like “Hey Joe” and “96 Tears” takes on a new poignancy.
Still, the original material is the heart of this collection and the Original “Face of Time” channels Sky Saxon even though he was alive when this track was laid down. “Help, Murder, Police” rocks, and “Salem Witch Trial” is a classic piece of acid experimentation. The first disc focuses on studio material; it’s cleaner and more accessible. Disc two focuses more on live cuts and alternate versions, many recorded in the cave-like CBGBs and not as easy to love as Disc one. The Fuzztones did excellent work, but never quite made that last big step to stardom, so this is a great way to get back into cool obscurity days of later punk rock.