Brad from Mojo Hand FX described his two new fuzz pedals as a return to his roots, explaining that it had been over a year since he last released a fuzz. Some companies basically exist off one or two designs, but not Mojo Hand. Every time I see Brad, he's got a new crop of pedals - or at least a redesigned, perfected version of one of his earlier pedals. Yet he seems to feel that his year away from fuzz pedals - designing beautiful phasers, and overdrives like the Blue Bonnet, that effortlessly evokes ZZ Top tones - was some sort of sin that has to be atoned for. The fuzz gods will not be ignored, and so we get the BMP-2 and the El Guapo. The BMP-2 is a classic Russian fuzz like no other. Booming and mean, yet grainy and articulate - it's what you wish all those Russian muffs had actually been. The El Guapo is a versatile and nasty fuzz starving for fresh batteries - allow it the life giving voltage it craves, and it borders on overdrive. Or, roll on the starve control to choke the life out of it, and as the voltage fights to reach the circuit, you get raspy violent notes that shift and bleed all over each other before dying out.
I always try to find what I like about a pedal and focus on that, hopefully showing you something unique in the process. Some pedals are hard work. Some pedals play themselves; they show up full of song ideas. The El Guapo and the BMP-2 were effortlessly fun for me. At times, I couldn't bring myself to stop playing them long enough to be "serious" - in other words, thank you fuzz gods. Brad, I think your "sins" are forgiven.