Britain’s NME magazine nailed Fu Manchu’s oeuvre when it dubbed them “damn near the most conceptually perfect rock band since the Ramones.” Now comes a damn near perfect double live album. Fu’s concept: Southern Cali pinball playin’ surfer dude into classic American muscle cars, ’70s hard rock and skate punk, belting fuzzed-to-the-gills, yet economical and catchy riffs cranked to 10… er, 11. No frills. Loud-fast-rules for maximum impact. Certainly not far removed from the Ramones’ glue-sniffin’ NYC street-brat shtick.
Recorded on the Cali quartet’s ’02 international tour, the two-disc Go For It features 22 songs culled mainly from Fu’s last three CDs. There are enough old-school Fu nuggets to satisfy longtime fans, though (the band has been recording and touring for more than a decade). The sound is excellent, the performances are head-buttingly strong, and there’s no time for useless stage banter.
If you aren’t lucky enough to own a tricked-out ’72 Camaro, pop this in the player, hit the gas, and you’ll feel like you do. That’s truly one of the beauties of Fu. Sex on four fat tires. Killer tracks: “Boogie Van,” “Regal Begal,” “Downtown in Dogtown” “Weird Beard” and the band’s awesome longtime live cover of BOC’s classic “Godzilla.”
Ultimately, Fu’s got such a sly wink-wink I’m-in-on-the-joke-myself-man, sense of rawk and fun (again, like da Ramones) you can’t help but want to join the club.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Feb ’04 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.