Unknown Gems — Bobby Gaylor’s Fuzzatonic Scream
I would have never heard about this album if it wasn’t for one guy. it was around 2013, I was a fan of the guys youtube channel so when i saw he made a video about christmas songs that he could tolerate (and some pretty damn obscure ones at that), i certainly wanted to watch it. on that list was “Stop Giving Me Crap For Christmas” by a Mr Bobby Gaylor, I was so… fascinated by the song, it sounded as if Gilbert Gottfried and Jerry Seinfeld were fused into one cynic, and words were certainly clever and relate-able, feeling like they were written from him and him alone, based on his own experiences with the holiday. That friend also reccomended i listen to a song from him called Suicide, and once I was finished, I knew this was an essential artist.
The saddest part of this is that no one actually knows of the album, the closest review available of this is from Allmusic giving it a pretty disappointing 3 stars, and on discogs the CD is so worthless in their eyes it only costs a measly 2 dollars, making the album seem more like bargain bin crap than any kind of art, yet everyone I have shown Fuzzatonic Scream to immediately fell in love with it.
Bobby Gaylor more than likely didn’t care, he was a writer for the sitcom classic Roseanne and later ended up playing the character of Buford on Phineas and Ferb, its understandable to believe this was just an album he did for the hell of it, which makes this even more impressive, because this could easily sit next to a Sun Kil Moon or even a Father John Misty LP, the kind of cynical barely music based albums that really are more meant to let the messages out than to make standard music.
The music itself leans more on just whatever he had available, since this is spoken word, the music is more just set dressing for him to talk over, leaning on typical easy listening and folk, with some hard rock on songs like “Masturbation”.
But when you listen to those lyrics, your mind just feels the emotion of what he’s saying, he feels more like your friend having a lengthy conversation with, discussing the ideas of the ethics of topics like Suicide, an easy highlight, a discussion about the things that happen with suicide, whether they are egotistical, personal, hurtful, and understanding, when he ends up talking about all the reasons to not kill yourself, ending with paragraphs of near perfect lines that just make you feel better about life.
“ You’ll miss the rush of getting your first apartment/Getting to the point in your life where you can tell your parents to “FUCK OFF! I gotta make my own mistakes, you did”/You’ll miss sex — you’ll miss thinking about it, looking for it, sex by yourself, sex with a partner, sex with multiple partners/No more summer nights that seem to go on forever/Roller coasters/Naming your kid the name you always wanted/Making a difference in the world/You’ll miss the experience and pleasure of Hallucinogenics/Watching your neighbor’s wife change clothes with her blinds open/A lifetime of masturbating/Watching your favorite team sweep the series/Music, you will definitely miss music”
the rest of the song are just as personal, “One Moment” tells the story of his first kiss, but being unable to date her because he missed the moment due to a vacation. “Hit a Guy with My Car” is the story of being scared he hit a guy, but then realizing that the guy tried to kill himself and he got off Scot-free. “Tommy the Frog Killer” is about how Tommy never really got a lot of love from his parents because they were egotistical, how the two of them watched their parents porn, and then ending up that Tommy ends up killing frogs in a psychopathic manner (certainly ends up making you feel uncomfortable). blatantly talking about the bad life and awful mental state he has ended up in, even implying he will end up a murderer. “Out the Window” is melancholic and discussing the life in his house. “Animals” though has some flaws does talk a lot about the treatment of animals and how badly we do. All ending with “Business End of a Gun”, a story about being caught on the receiving end of a crime, detailed discussion of a night club where it happened, and how he was almost shot, a fantastic end to a fantastic LP.
the only notable dud on the album is “smelt”, a story about going fishing and eating hot dogs, its just personally boring. but even at the LPs more problematic moments, its still very intriguing and interesting, provocative, and make you really feel good. Its like talking to your old friend, discussing those good old days with you, whether it be discussing the strangely melancholic tone of “Out the Window”, or discussing the possible mental state of “Tommy the Frog Killer”, this album should be spoken about more. if this was made about a decade later, this would have been considered one of the better albums of that year, it just happened to come at a time where no one would have found out about it, and that’s depressing. because this deserved to be beloved.