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By Pete Vonder Haar | November 27, 2003

Their names are: F1 (drums), F2 (guitar, vocals), F3 (bass). Together, they’re The Fuse, a Los Angeles-based band which is the subject of Jensen Rufe’s mini-documentary. More importantly, they’re apparently supposed to be punks. How do we know this? Well, just look at those crazy names…that’s punk, right? And they sure like to dress well, because “good f*****g music deserves good f*****g clothing,” as F3 puts it. So they love fashion, which is also punk? Another member says they “make up for lack of talent with style.” This puts them on a skill level commensurate with Kajagoogoo and Donovan Leitch’s band.
Woo hoo. Punk’s not dead.
It must also be punk to offer lame rationalizations for a poor performance caught on film. “F2” – who looks kind of like Tattoo from “Fantasy Island”… or would, if Hervé Villechaize was a Romulan – blames intense emotion for their lousy set. This is spliced with scenes Rufe filmed of them getting so drunk before the gig they could barely stand. Wow, a band too loaded to keep it together for one song. Sounds like the guy from that other “punk” outfit: Creed.
The Fuse’s lyrics are so full of clichés and non sequiturs they make Nickelback look like Minor Threat. I kept wondering if this was supposed to be a promotional assignment, or if Rufe was trying to make a low budget “This Is Spinal Tap.” It’s hard to believe the band gave clearance for it.
As for their music, I think this equation might prove handy:
(The Judys + Sierra Nevada Pale Ale + trendy hipster mod clothing) – talent = The Fuse
Guys, people forgave bands like the Replacements their years of abuses because they could actually, you know, make good music. Faux indie rockers who get stupid drunk, slam around like drunken frat boys, and forget how to play their instruments are a dimebag a dozen. There’s nothing in this documentary that evokes the slightest sympathy for these guys or prompts any interest in their “band.”

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