Noise Boyz Review
A big, beautiful, in-your-face fuzzy pickle
When I was in high school I worked at my local public library and each year the library held a pickle festival. If any of the pickles at that festival were half as awesome as the Swollen Pickle fuzz pedal, I probably would have never left my job. I honestly wanted to try this pedal just because it had a cool name and aesthetic, and can safely say that it definitely sounds as cool as it looks. Let’s dig into a few samples; As per usual, I first wanted to show what the pedal sounds like with everything at the noon/5 position. Even without cranking things up, this thing still delivers tons of fuzz and sustain. You get good crunch with each note still being audible and not too messy:
To crank things up a bit, for this next sample I played the same riff but with all settings at noon except crunch and filter turned all the way up. The result is a lot crunchier and more in your face fuzz sound.
Now to mess around with the scoop setting a bit. The below two samples were recorded with everything at noon except for the scoop which in the first sample is turned to zero and in the second sample is turned back to noon. With the scoop turned all the way down you definitely get a thinner sound that almost sounds like it has a bit of a phaser feel to it. It works great for low-end bass sounding riffs, although probably isn’t what you want if you’re trying to play a big screaming psychedelic fuzz solo (we’ll get to that later). Turning the scoop back up to 50 gives the sound a completely different characteristic and brings out the mid-range and high-end frequencies much more with lots and lots of crunch.
Below is the same riff with the scoop turned all the way back up to 10. You’ll notice that there isn’t quite as much difference in sound from scoop going from 5 to 10 as there was , so if you’re going for that thinner more squashed sound you’ll probably want to experiment more with the scoop settings on the lower end.
And now for some good old power chords. This sample was recorded with crunch and scoop at 5 but filter and sustain around 8 – it gives you a really rumbly aggressive sound but still retains a lot of tone in the high end – if you’re into noise rock or just want to have your guitar be all-up in your bandmates (and audiences’) face, this is a great setting to get that sound.
Here’s the same setting (crunch/scoop at 5, filter/sustain at 8) only without the power chords. On individual notes this almost takes on a synth like characteristic and actually reminds me a lot of the sounds on the criminally underrated Kenna album ‘New Sacred Cow.’
And of course the moment we’ve all been waiting for – everything at 10 with some nice, useless, tasteless shredding. If you’re really trying to go balls-to-the-wall in your face fuzz solo, this is surely the setting for you. I let it ring out at the end just so you can hear how downright dirty this thing can get and the incredible amount of sustain it can achieve.
To sum things up, the Swollen Pickle is just a straight up dope-ass fuzz pedal. If you’re going for a ‘fuzz-lite’ type of sound this definitely isn’t the one for you (for that we’d recommend the DOD Classic Fuzz although in truth the Swollen Pickle is just way more fun to play). If you like fuzz pedals this is definitely one to add to your collection, although if you’re looking for something a little less aggressive that still gets you lots of fuzz we also recommend trying the Big Muff Pi Op Amp which is our favorite variant of the Big Muff sound.
1 x 1/4"
1 x 1/4"
How It Works
Choose a Plan
Pick how many pedals you want to try a month, from one to three.
Play Them All
Try every signal-chain you can imagine until you find the tone that’s right for you.
Keep, Swap, or Buy
Keep the pedals you rent for as long as you want. Love them? Buy them. Hate them? Swap them.