FU MANCHU — recently described by the Los Angeles Times as "Southern California sludge-merchants (who) deliver riff-heavy rock straight out of the '70s" — have frequently covered other artists’ music over the course of their career. In addition to their well-known take on BLUE ÖYSTER CULT's "Godzilla", the band has previously tackled DEVO ("Freedom of Choice"), SSD ("Nothing's Done"), BLACK FLAG ("Six Pack") and SAMMY JOHNS ("Chevy Van").
On their two newest releases, the group continues the trend: Their new limited-edition EP "Hung Out To Dry" features an inspired take on the VAN HALEN classic "D.O.A.", while their forthcoming tenth full-length, "We Must Obey", includes a rendition of THE CARS' "Moving In Stereo", a well-known track from that act's multi-platinum 1978 debut.
"'Moving In Stereo' is one of our favorite CARS songs — and plus, there's always a CARS song in every crappy teenage party movie," says FU MANCHU guitarist, vocalist and founding member Scott Hill. "I think it was Bob (Balch, guitars) who started playing the opening riff at practice, and it sounded really good with a lot of fuzz and tuned down to D. We all joined in and shortened it to about three minutes. I think we made it sound like a FU MANCHU song, for better or worse. It gets heavy and really kicks in at the end."
As for the VAN HALEN cover included on "Hung Out To Dry", Hill admits that "D.O.A." is "one of only a few VAN HALEN songs that I really like. The rest of the guys in FU MANCHU are way bigger fans than I am, but they do have a great fuzzy, heavy thing happening with their early records. It's hard to top early VAN HALEN, so we just played the song how we would play any of own songs. It's a fun song to play."
Last week, FU MANCHU celebrated the release of "Hung Out To Dry with a sold-out show at the Viper Room in Hollywood, Calif. The EP can be ordered for $6 at CMDistro.com, while the title track is currently streaming on the band's MySpace page, www.myspace.com/fumanchu.