"The Fuzztones are the kings, the best, numero uno, heck, the undisputed masters , perfect in every detail from the screaming Vox organ down to their pointy little Beatle boots.  And lead singer Rudi Protrudi is actually a really big star in Europe.  Considering they've been living in your backyard the last few years, like, "where the hell have you been? " -L.A. Weekly

In a man's, man's, man's world, a return to the golden age of the 50's kind of a kind of a Ralph Kramden world, where the Flintstones and the Jetsons, bowling and the fights ruled the tube, Italian guys like Dion DiMucci and Frankie Avalon, Frankie Valle and Fabian Forte, Johnny Maestro and Bobby Rydell and Joey Dee got all the hits and the babes; what I mean is, in an Andrew Dice Clay kind of world, all greased back and jangling loose change on the corner, razzing chicks, and dangling an unfiltered tip cigerette, before the ERA and the PMRC and FM Radio and MTV and Rolling Stone Review of Records and "Tommy - a Rock Opera" and Don McClean and Two Live Crew and the Bill of Rights infected the scene with redeemable social values; in that kind of a primal, twangy, rock 'n' roll world, the Fuzztones would be number one.

Unlike your canny Big Daddy, who plagiarize the noble and holy '50s in order to subvert the present, and unlike your well-intentioned Dave Edmunds or Brian Setzer, who worship at the feet of the pristine and boring '50's, to present a vision that is ultimately stulitifying and derivative, and totally unlike the insipid Sha-Na-Na, an off-off-Broadway made-for-Saturday-morning TV cartoon of the 50's as innocuous as it is vacuous, the Fuzztones are the true induring eternal bearers of the timeless unique spirit of the 50's, (which ended, of course, in 1963, with the coming of Trini Lopez and the Serendipity Singers) - festering, earth-shattering, subterranean, indefensifly satisfying.

Which is not to say the Fuzztones could not have existed in the 50's, when The Singing Nun was guarding the temple. Whatever you might think in retrospect, about the frightening overnight public imorality unleashed by Elvis' pelvis (from the waist down), like a national breakout of psychic polio, the relative impact of "A-wop-bop-a-lu-mop-a-lop-bam-boom," "Be-Bop-A-Lu-La, she's my baby" "You ain't nothin but a hound dog," "Oh Maybelline, why can't you be true" and "Whole lotta shakin goin on," was hardly more than gob of Max Factor's Crewcut on the ducktail of prevailing pop culture.

I mean, Lawrence Welk wasn't exactly giving up his weekly TV spot to the unwashed motorcycle hourds of pagan rock 'n' rolldom. Dinah shore, Ozzie and Harriet, Beaver and the rest of the Cleavers, even Pete and Gladys weren't about to miss the latest episode of Make That Spare to attend an Alan Freed jamboree in the boondocks. I mean, by 1960, most of those cool Italian guys in leather jackets, like Dion, were singing standards like "Where or When." The raging, demented, uncontrollable lewdness of rock n roll - when it wasn't pure, unadulterated, unadult jibberish - was being summed up, if you'll recall, by towering jewels of sophisticated euphemism such as "Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow-Polka-Dot Bikini" and "Let the Little Girl Dance." Alan Freed was busted, Little Richard was preaching the gospel and Elvis was singing arias ("It's Now or Never").

Meanwhile the assorted nefarious Fuzztones were getting themselves together in junior high cafeterias, scarfing cheese sandwiches and making stupid noises with their arms, in class rooms wiling away the days 'til June by dropping their pencils to look up girl's dresses, transistor radio in one hand, pea-shooter in the other, waiting, watching, listening, smirking, frustrated by how society was lousing up their music (Buddy Holly was down, James Dean was down, Eddie Cochran was down, even the Everly Brothers were in the Army and Dion was singing Rodgers and Hart!) preparing their own moment of divine retrobution, restitution, re-evaluation.

They announce as much on IN HEAT, a concept album - low concept to be sure - in the Farfisa organ and twangy Gretsch and Rickenbacker guitar voice of the mid-60s garage band hey-day/swansong, last rock 'n' roll gasp before Norma Tanega's "Walking My Cat named Dog" and all hell broke loose, removing rock 'n' roll forever from the candy store comedians who'd once so lovingly owned it. Primal and primitive and more outspoken than rock 'n' roll ever could have been about the unspoken, undivine truths that moved it to almost conquer, the Fuzztones concept, in epic odes to that candy store era when men wore shiny black Italian dancing shoes and drove their father's Oldsmobiles,

and girls were either cheerleaders or tramps, but all the same in the dark in the back seat, like "Me Tarzan, You Jane," "Everything You've Got," "In Heat," "Hurt on Hold," and especially the gargantuan, droll, piquant, poignant, breathlessly picaresque "Nine Months Later," is as daring as Bart Simpson blowing up a school room or Roseanne Barr singing the National Anthem; that is, tasteless, irrespressable, irredeemable, offensive-everything for which rock n roll was made famous long ago, but hadn't actually been for a lot of us since Napolean XIV crooned "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Ha!" in 1966, or before that...ever.

Which is not to say the Fuzztones are not entirely without morals, scuples, the type of in-depth lyrical conceits of which your major works of post-rock n roll artistry are comprised. I mean, only the most unconscionable (and unconcious) rock critics could fail to place right up there alongside the giants of rock/poetry, reciting with and holding its head high among monoliths like America's "A Horse with No Name," Michael Jackson's "Ben" and "the Streak" by Ray Stevens, the Fuzztones' mega-anthem/remembrance of traumas past, "It Came in the Mail." Complete with the voice of Alan Freed, and all the appropriate hail-and-farewell dedications, this is a slice of true, shivering greatness no Arlo Gutherie-handheld big-budget-buckskin-cinemaverte-Alice's Restaurant-pinko-hippie could possibly fathom. You had to be a juke box duking, motorcycle dancing, beer-guzzling, patriot weened on Gene Vincent to halfway understand.

The Fuzztones appear on their album cover like some psychedelic San Fransico clones of the Rolling Stones. In actuality, Rudi Protrudi, Jordan Tarlow, "Mad" Mike Czekaj, Jason Savall and John Carlucci probably spent most of their hours after high school beating up on similarly clad boneheads dumb enough to invade their turf. But they got a record label now, same as the Cult, you got to expect some compromises along the way to ultimate domination like Man Mountain Dean over Killer Kowalski (or was it vice versa?).

Anyway, you say your ma threw away your old baseball cards, the candy store turned into a Roy Rodgers, and your leather jacket shredded years ago? History has rolled over you like a wave at Muscle Beach the kind you used to ride forever, showing off while Frankie chased Annette. Nowadays the juke box plays nothing but country music and the 45 has vanished, along with the Farfisa, the nickel Coke and your perfect waistline. I'm not gonna say the Fuzztones will restore your hair, trim inches from your thighs, or add them to your bustline, or kick sand in the face of your enemies. But I'm not saying that they won't.