Ferocious Few – Juices

January 01, 1970

(Birdman Records)





Fast and furious street buskers, the Ferocious Few
are making the streets of San Francisco just a little more dangerous and
groovy. I’m sure if grumpy, potato-nosed Detective Mike Stone were still on
duty, he’d want these punks locked away to 
protect the public decency in his City by the Bay.


Bad-boy attitude and blistering, punked-out blues
have been radiating from the corner of 16th and Mission for the past
four years, when Franco Fernandez and Daniel Aguilar first set up shop there,
beating out rhythm on a basic drum kit and skronking out a ballistic
blues-blast through a cheap amp. They’re a hard-charging pair who play like
they mean business, thus the moniker. A startling and disturbing sight to
passersby to be sure, but, like a twisted car wreck, a sight not to be turned
away from. Whenever the duo appeared, crowds would amass around them and word
spread of this sonic chaos on four legs, which usually ended with the real
police showing up to quell the ruckus. The FF actually survived on the
donations from their audience and graduated up to a real drum kit and amp and
landing gigs in local venues. They soon came to the notice of local label,
Birdman Records, who herded them into the studio to put their visceral
testimony on record and distribute it to the masses.


In addition, the benefits of a studio allowed them
to better showcase their talent with supplementary guitar, piano, bass or the
manic organ on “Kathleen.” It really captures lightning in the proverbial
bottle. Listening to the 15 tracks on Juices is akin to being picked up by the throat by a lumbering 7′ wrestler, slammed
against the wall, then stomped. Thirteen of the tunes clock in at an economical
2 to 3 minutes and the other 2 are over 4 minutes. The last of which, “16th St.”, is an acoustic number, ala early Zimmerman. Fernandez’ whisky voice adds
a demented, dynamic urgency and pain to the songs.


This lo-fi thunder is a scrappy working-class kind
of blues-rock similar to Ike Reilly. It’s visceral music, born of callused-hand
and school of hard knocks experience. You’ve gotta live it to play it! I’ve
suffered through over 31 years of stupid, joke bands in the Bay area and can
count on one hand the few outstanding ones. The Ferocious Few would be the
middle finger. This is the album to grab when you’re in the mood to be revved
up. As a betting man, I’ll wager Juices is the best debut album of 2010 only 4 months in.


Standout Tracks: “As The Days Go By”, “Back Home”, “Anywhere In
Love” and “Lok’d Out” BARRY ST. VITUS




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