Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene

Doom metal… desert rock... stoner metal… occult rock. Whatever you like to call it, whatever it is to you, it seems like there's never been a better time to like it.
Not that it ever went away, but its resurgence is doubly fascinating when you recall that the genesis of doom metal and stoner rock goes back close to half a century: to Friday, February, 13th, 1970, to be precise, when Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album defied its way onto the airways and into history.
What must it have been like to hear the track Black Sabbath for the first time? To hear that haunting bell chime and spine-chilling down-tuned tri-tone (played that way by guitarist Tony Iommi, as you probably know, as a consequence of a horrific hand injury)? And to have a young Ozzy Osbourne declare “what is this that stands before me”?
Actually, many critics panned Black Sabbath upon its release — and didn’t they get their comeuppance. Everyone else, at least if they were cool and open-minded, discovered something dark and amazing. Friday, February, 13th, 1970 is widely acknowledged as the birth of heavy metal and while doom psych stoner vintage desert groove metal rock have been with us ever since, 45 years after Black Sabbath’s debut, this style of music is bigger than ever.
Whether it’s the fact that even Iceland can spawn a successful vintage rock act; the large number of festivals popping up around Europe and North America dedicated specifically to this family of music and all its ugly cousins; or realising that it is commercially viable for a record label to sell double-vinyl re-issues of ultra-obscure, suicidally slow, agonizingly heavy Australian cult death doom, it’s never been cooler to like doom metal.
Which, as it happens, is magnificent news for the unforgettably-named Melbourne group that calls itself Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene.

Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene

I came across Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene via my professional day activities where I have a connection with one of their associates. We got talking about music (note: this is one of the great things about rock and metal) and he kindly provided me with a promo version of the debut album, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene: Facing The Ruin.

Facing The Ruin

You get no points for guessing what a group calling itself Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene sound like. The totally ’70s, Black Sabbath-esque, Master Of Reality-inspired logo is a strong hint. The way this band legitimately includes the word DOOM in its name is another.

I wonder what this band sounds like?

But just in case that’s not immediately apparent, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene play great riff-filled, hazy, smoky music for equally great riff-filled, hazy, smoky rooms.
It’s doom on the lighter side, with plenty of classic and psychedelic rock moments and lots of groove and swagger, occasionally foraying into punk territory, but their bread is still very much buttered on the side of the psychedelic doom tradition.
One could bang on about them, but as with most written descriptions about new albums and releases, the best way to figure out what you think is to check it out for yourself.

Fuck The Fitzroy Doom: Dream. This is track one from Facing The Ruin , and it starts off as Black Sabbath worship in the best possible way.

Track two: White Crystal Lady. This one’s much faster, even going a bit punk, but it gets tamed back to the mid-pace stoner riffs soon enough. No idea what the subject matter of White Crystal Lady could possibly refer to, just like no one knows what Ozzy was singing about in Snowblind and Sweet Leaf.

Track three: Better Off Dead. Those big, groovy riffs take off again. Also, it’s very nice of Fuck The Fitzroy Doom to provide so many videos. As mentioned, the three videos are all from the one album, which happens to be their debut. They’re rather serious about spreading the word.

Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene: Facing The Ruin veers backwards and forwards and around, under and straight through jolly big riffs. They're not overly fuzzed out or face meltingly heavy, just lots of good solid, hard rock riffs. The album spends a lot of time mostly on the mid to slow side and occasionally picks up the pace, before ending on the very chilled out and appropriately named closer, Leaving.
Facing The Ruin is a slow burner, a grower, and an album that is best savoured on multiple occasions. They key is, I’ve found, to give it a couple of listens and willingly open up your hearing canals to allow those ear worm riffs to emerge from the haze and bore into your head.

What’s with the name?

Whether you like it or not, and whether you intend to pay it any heed or not, something that regularly gets Fuck The Fitzroy Doom noticed is the group’s name.
There’s a theory of advertising that says a piece of promotion is inherently effective even if it’s irritating or annoying. That is, an advertisement is effective, according to this school of thought, even if annoys the pants off you. Why? The mere fact that it managed to get your attention means it is successful.
To be clear: there’s no suggestion that Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene make annoying or irritating music. But the name surely gets them noticed.
As mentioned, doom metal and stoner rock is Serious Business around the world right now — and it’s getting bigger. If your objective is to stand out from this surprisingly crowded pack, you might as well grab the attention of onlookers from the very moment they’re presented with even half a fleeting chance to become aware of your existence. So often that first point of contact is on a flyer or event invite. If someone remembers you on the basis that you’re called Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, then you’ve gotten noticed and presumably achieved your mission.

Or have you?

I asked my associate contact what the story was with the name and he said they came up with it while rather drunk. “Fuck the Fitzroy doom scene,” one of them had said. For non-Melbournians, Fitzroy is an inner city suburb, kind of Bohemian and hipstery, and I’m told the comment was made in reference to the seriousness and gloom that the group members felt was afflicting various local doom purveyors.
Hence, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene came to be, and hence they play a style of stoner rocking doom psych metal that is big, riffy but nonetheless fun.
The band known as Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene in many ways embodies how big this music is right now. Here’s a local Melbourne stoner doom rock band, getting known overseas despite having no more than a debut album under their belts.

Remember, you saw it here first.

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