Along with fellow late ’80s and early ’90s East Coast heavyweights Monster Magnet and Palm Desert heroes Kyuss, Southern California quartet Fu Manchu helped foster the downtuned, psychedelic style of heavy stoner rock that rose to popularity during the 1990s and remains influential to this day.
While the Orange County band got it’s start in the mid-1980s as a hardcore punk outfit called Virulence, a number of personnel changes would lead to a shift in sound that incorporated elements of classic rock, metal and proto punk that nodded to everything from Hendrix and Black Sabbath to Blue Cheer and the Stooges. With longtime guitarist Scott Hill taking over on lead vocals shortly after the band changed it’s name to Fu Manchu and released it’s first single in 1990. Hill quickly developed into a commanding frontman, leading the group through the recording of several more singles before they produced their debut album No One Rides For Free in 1994.
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