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Our columnist is back to balance the force with a look at the top qualities of old-school Fullerton noise-makers.

Last year, I wrote a column listing the top 10 annoying things about vintage Fender amps. Now, I seek to rebalance the equation, and will share my list of reasons to love them.

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Jedd Hughes Rig Rundown​
Rig Rundown: Jedd Hughes

The in-demand Nashville session player unveils what comes with him when he leaves the studio.

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With their new record, Playing Favorites, Sheer Mag pays homage the best parts of ’70s and ’80s disco and funk, set in the band’s usual streetscape of classic hard rock and power pop.

Photo by Natalie Piserchio

The Philadelphia band looked back to classic disco and funk grooves to create Playing Favorites, the year’s dirtiest and most danceable power-pop record.

“There are two wolves inside me,” says Kyle Seely. “One of them wants to just bring the JCM800 and a distortion pedal, and the other one’s like, ‘I’m bringing the Helix and I’m making a different patch for every song.’”

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For Marcus King, sharing about his music comes with a powerful openness about his mental health struggles and substance abuse.

Photo by Simon Reed

On his latest full-length, Mood Swings, the young guitarist recorded under the sage guidance of studio veteran Rick Rubin. Here, he reflects on his life’s tribulations, and displays a rare fluency and comfort in sharing about his mental health.

The guitarist, singer, and songwriter Marcus King began drinking heavily around age 15, in part because the sorts of venues he was playing in the Southeast considered Pabst Blue Ribbon to be fair pay. “I was like an alley cat,” he recalls via Zoom, describing how these clubs would leave a case of cheap lager out back for their precocious guitar slinger. “Other stuff,” King says, “got introduced a little later.”

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Grace Bowers Rig Rundown
Rig Rundown: Grace Bowers

In the midst of working on her first album, the 17-year-old guitar star takes PG through her rig.

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