Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fuzz Week/Part #3: Fridgebuzzz LOTRF

-Analog War Cry-

Fuzz Week
A collection of unique and superb fuzz boxes

Back in the 60's there were many fuzz pedals hitting the music scene, many of them making their way onto albums and stages, and lots of them made famous by our golden era heroes. There was one fuzz box in particular though that had everyone going bananas and was known for creating some unique and memorable tones. The name of that pedal? The Shin-Ei Fuzz. It was used by many of the rock bands of that time and was featured on a ton of our favorite tunes. Try to go out and find one today, you'll quickly notice they're not cheap and don't just hang around on every music shop corner. Fridgebuzzz Electronics has taken care of this problem, not only has this pedal made it's way back into our lives, but it's improved and capable of many more signature rock tones.

Brooklyn, New York
Builder/Designer: Paul Rothman
Years in the Game: 2
Pedal: Land of the Rising Fuzzz

* Handmade in the USA
* Beyond original design
* Each pedal is hand screened and numbered
* Extreme to vintage voiced fuzz tones
* Designed to work great with many instruments
* Custom builds also available upon request

I am a huge fan of many of the classic fuzz pedals that put fuzz boxes on map. But I'm also not so keen of a handful, some that most people would say sound amazing. The thing with fuzz pedals from back in their early days is that because they were so new to the scene, it meant there was lots of room for improvement. It was like playing russian roulette, you never knew if you were gonna get a bad one or a golden one. Some cats have taken care of this problem and at the same time injected some ideas of their own. Paul Rothman went right ahead and did just that, and not with a pedal that already sounded s0-s0 which would have been cool, but with a pedal that already sounded amazing which is even better. He took some of the ideas from the all mighty Shin-Ei Fuzz Pedal to design and transformed a true modern classic of his own. The name of Paul's killer pedal is The Land of the Rising Fuzzz (get it?). A pedal who's sound definitely belongs in it's own class, as time goes by I definitely see this fuzz box becoming a collector's piece. From it's skin to it's guts this pedal screams class and quality all the way. Diecast aluminum enclosure, rugged powder-coat finish, true bypass switching, hand screened enamel graphics, switchcraft jacks, poly-film capacitors, double sided/solder masked get the picture. Last but not least, a collection of unique tones and sounds that will keep you busy for a long long time. I've mentioned before that time and time again many builders get the whole fuzz effect idea wrong, wrong wrong wrong! Not to say that the whole idea of the fuzz pedal hasn't grown, I believe there is definitely a group of fuzz pedals out there that have evolved into some great new flavors, and there are those few that have kept it traditional and in the vintage era. It's just that many cats have taken advantage of the hype and mystery that surrounds fuzz pedals, and out of it has come some strrraaaannge pedals. A good fuzz box needs to either keep it real or take it to the next level. The Fridgebuzzz LOTRF takes it into both arenas, the old school and the new. An intelligently designed layout of controls is why this pedal is so versatile, this along with some vintage appointments makes for one swell stompbox. The controls on the pedal are Volume, Tone, Fuzz, and a mini toggle that flips from Mode 1 to Mode 2. The Volume knob controls the it's overall volume, it can be set to match your guitars level or go beyond it to help push your amp into further saturation. The Tone knob works as a high frequency roll-off which is great for taming the fuzz's growl and bite. I was able to play the pedal through a bunch of different guitars and match the pedal's tone to each of the pickup's characteristics. The Fuzz control is actually really special, depending at what kind of instrument or frequency you throw at it will effect how it responds. This makes for mucho many fun sounds. In Mode 1 the pedal dishes out it's most dissonant and sharpest tones, coming closer to the original design. Mode 2 is the mellower and smoothest of the two modes, and it's in this mode that you can really shape some signature sounds for yourself. In Mode 1 we got some great synth-fuzz sounds, sounds that worked great for adding some off-the-wall character to your tone. Direct into a clean tone the pedal completely rearranges your signal into a rich'n'thick fuzz facelift. What was really impressive was just how transparent and well balanced each tone was. Even in it's most extreme settings the pedal worked great with both chords and lead work. The sound explodes and compresses in a way that many fuzz pedals don't, creating that killer muted trumpet-like fuzz sound really well, almost as if it's being pushed by wind instead of electricity. When you back off on your strumming you get these great short, sputtery, and sythn-like sounds. The more you dig in the more you hear the effect open up. This works great for going from verses to hooks, without the need to roll back the guitar's volume knob. As we were putting it through it's paces we noticed it sounded really great for those 60's psychedelic single note runs, if this is your scene this pedal delivers spot-on. We through a bit of compression and a ton of reverb behind this tone and got some of the trippiest sounds to ever come out of a fuzz box.My favorite thing about this pedal is playing it through a wah. Some pedals can sound thin and harsh when played through wah pedals, not this baby. To make things really interesting we set a treble booster in front of it, not only did it take to the booster well but it flew into a whole new feel and sound, like shooting it with steroids. Then we got to the bass guitar, oh yes mama. Bass players I say this to you. "Stop Looking, your dream fuzz pedal is here!" And it didn't end there. Keyboards of all kinds also sound great through this pedal. For a cat like I who lives in the studio setting this is a perfect pedal, which makes this a real desirable stompbox. I don't only play guitar, in fact I'm up to instrument number 8, and working on the 9th. This has become one of the most useful and player friendly pedals to ever land on my doorstep. Like the original Shin-Ei the Land of the Rising Fuzz is also a pedal of it's own category. The difference? You won't have to worry about getting a bad sounding pedal, while at the same time having access to all the original's tones and then some. There are a few bands that come to mind when I think of this pedal... The Rolling Stones, Dead Meadow, Black Mountain, The Ventures, Sleep, The Kinks, The Melvins, Kyuss, and The Electric Prunes, to name a few. Whether you're thing is psychedelic rock, classic rock, or experimental rock, this baby will do you fine. Get a taste of fuzz box history and make some history of your own. Can you dig it?


For more info on Fridgebuzzz Electronics you can go to I highly suggest you stop by the site check out some sound bytes and catch up on what happening with them. Look for more info on Fridgebuzzz Electronics to come in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Earlier this year I decided it was time to buy a fuzz pedal. I had heard several different ones played at shows & I sampled others at guitar shops. I played through some nice pedals - ehx, fulltone, diaz, etc - and I wasn't hearing quite what I wanted.

    So to the internet I went & came across The Land of the Rising Fuzz. I was intrigued by the LOTRF but nervous about ordering one without demoing it personally. After hemming & hawing for a few weeks I figured, what the hell. I'm so glad I did!

    This pedal in mode 1 is the sharpest nastiest buzz fuzz sound I've come across. Plus you still have room to fatten up the fuzz if you like. Mode 2 is pretty cool, the fuzz is still there but the original signal is more infront of it.

    Thanks Fridgebuzzz!