Fudge Tunnel - Creep Diets
Earache Records
Doom Metal/Grunge/Stoner
11 songs (45:42)
Release year: 1992
Earache Records
Reviewed by Phil
Archive review

The power trio has long been a rare breed in the heavy metal world. Maybe it’s just impossible to sing and play an instrument while windmill headbanging, chugging Jack Daniels and thrusting your bejeweled codpiece at a female in the front row. Okay, Cronos of Venom could do it…but there are scant few other examples. Regardless, Earache Records unearthed a member of this endangered species in the early 1990s with Fudge Tunnel. The band is basically a grungy, doom trio inspired heavily by the Melvins, a power trio, and they first gained notoriety in the U.S. for their cover of Sunshine of Your Love by Cream, another power trio. Okay, this is getting weird.

But it was Fudge Tunnel’s second album, Creep Diets, where the band developed a unique and interesting identity. Frontman/guitarist Alex Newport handled production on the album, and it appears that his oversight brought the band out of their shell. Whereas their first album sounded bleak and muted, Creep Diets feels open and almost organic. The guitars have a buzzy, natural sound, and the production leaves plenty of room for the bass guitar and drums to breathe. Even so, the vocals are distorted and buried, and the lyrics seem to take second seat to guitars and rhythms.

Catchy riffs are the name of the game when it comes to Creep Diets, and the first song, Grey, finds the band in one of their grooviest moods. From the first second of the opening riff, it’s easy to get caught up in the musical vortex. Equal parts catchy and pummeling, the song is the perfect example of harmonic heaviness. Tipper Gore is full of aggression, and the hook has an almost hard rock feel. The simple riff holds for the verses, but the chorus and breakdown turn into a percussion fest with drummer Adrian Parkin completely demolishing his kit. Face Down is six minutes of darkness. While the song is as punishing and mean as anything the band ever recorded, it’s still oddly bouncy and enjoyable. Don’t Have Time For You is a tongue-in-cheek grunge/stoner ballad featuring acoustic guitars, semi-clear vocals and a catchy chorus. The joke holds until the last 30 seconds of the song; electronic noise is added and Newport wraps up the track with tons of distorted screams. Title track Creep Diets is seven minutes of classic Fudge Tunnel. From the circular opening chords to the rhythmic verses to the monstrous chorus riff to the drum breakdown, it’s all very complex and involved. In the end, it is akin to a doom symphony. Finally, Stuck is a speedier song where the drums once again hold down the fort while Newport smears thick riff on top of thick riff.

Looking back, it’s easy to see that Creep Diets had more in common with the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene than with the doom metal underground. And Fudge Tunnel’s heavy yet catchy sound ended up sharing a lot of characteristics with another popular power trio, Nirvana. Maybe we can blame the Melvins for this since they were a huge influence on the sound of both bands. No matter who you blame, Creep Diets is a solid album that is of interest to grunge fans and doom/stoner fans alike.

Killing Songs :
Grey, Face Down, Creep Diets
Phil quoted 88 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 0 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:08 pm
View and Post comments