Rating: 9/10

Fuzz Club Records, the London based label with an unmatched knack for tapping into international waters to discover fresh sounds to add to their vast, hefty back-catalogue of countless album releases, split singles and live sessions. Acting as a crucial catalyst for the trans-national psych scene and its many surrounding remits, one of the labels most revered releases is the esteemed Reverb Conspiracy compilation. Likened to a modern-day Nuggets series, Volume 5 is set for release on 19th January and features a veritable delight of some of Fuzz Club’s own artists as well as a smorgasbord of psychedelic delights from across the globe.

Fuzz Club explains of the Reverb Conspiracy Volume 5; “be it psych, garage-rock, post-punk, shoegaze, krautrock or just straight up rock’n’roll, whatever your shtick underground music has never been better than it is right now. As the world at large seems to be veering into an eerie, increasingly-divided dystopia, let’s forget about all the doom and gloom for a second and be unified by one thing – just good f*cking music. Forget a ‘scene’, this is a movement.”

The 16-track compilation opens with Sweden’s Dead Vibrations track ‘Swirl’, a piece of hypnotic shoegaze which lives up to its name with its pulsating layers. Portsmouth’s Melt Dunes bring ‘Flesh’, a brooding intense piece which marks its intent instantly with reverberating synth and menacing guitar. Italy’s JuJu lighten the tone with catchy ‘Bring ‘Em War’ before Glasgow’s Helicon contribute ‘The Bold Yin’, a lighter track than we are used to from the doom merchants, but who intriguing change of piece mid track marries nicely with the other tracks.

Porto’s finest, 10 000 Russos add a slice of ‘ISM’, with its krautrock underpinnings and haunting bass riff. A Russo is part of the next band, Dreamweapon and the positioning of their track ‘Monte da Virgem’ next to ‘ISM’ makes for an intense 15 minutes of space rock bliss. Hailing from Malmo, Sweden, NONN were something of a non-entity before being picked up by Fuzz Club and the inclusion of their track ‘Time’ is a welcome addition with its cold wave roots, minimalistic yet using clever repetition as a powerful tool to project the track into consciousness.

Italy’s Julie’s Haircut offer ‘Burning Tree’, a saxophone laced funky number which sums up perfectly how versatile this compilation can be. The Swede’s are represented in force with Sekel joining the party with ‘Bergamot’, a visceral post-punk that’s locked in a hypnotic kraut groove, taken from self-titled LP released 15th December. Chichester’s TRAAMS add a nine-minute slice of organised chaos with ‘A House On Fire’ before Athens based Psychedelic Trips To Death’s ‘The Flesh’ returns things to the darker side.

The third Italians to join the set are The Gluts with post punk stomper ‘Squirrel’. French Avenue Z’s ‘Zétron Libre’ has a bouncy countenance and an incredibly catchy guitar ditty before Sydney’s Black Heart Death Cult provide droney psych mantras and space glazed kaleido fuzz jams with ‘Black Rainbow’. Penultimately we have You Said Strange, a French shoegaze outfit who’s track ‘Youri’s Night’ provides the perfect blend of blissed out vibes and reverberating guitar. Concluding with ‘TNNLVSSN’ from Amsterdam’s Spirit Valley we hear post punk undercurrents with a melodic tone overplaying.

No matter what area of psychedelia you prefer, this compilation has something for everyone and may just contain your new favourite band.

Order: https://fuzzclub.com/collections/new-fuzz-club-releases/products/the-reverb-conspiracy-volume-5?variant=4915802636325

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQMYOIjuqfI&w=560&h=315]