Fuzz: Fuzz (In The Red)
Garage rock prodigy Ty Segall teams up with members of The Moonhearts as Fuzz, creating an ass kicking full length heaving with heavy riffs.
The project of garage rock dynamo Ty Segall, with a lineup also featuring Charlie Moothart and Roland Cosio of The Moonhearts, Fuzz could be seen as a supergroup of sorts. Fuzz’s first 7″ on Trouble in Mind delivered loud, heavily distorted shredding with echoes of 70’s metal groups like Black Sabbath.
I strongly dislike the term icon because I find it dehumanising, so instead I will simply say that Ty Segall is certainly a prominent father figure, hero and mentor to pretty much anyone who gives a damn about music right now, making anticipation almost unbearable for what Fuzz would come up with next. Luckily, with Segall’s insanely prolific track record, we knew we wouldn’t have to wait too long.
Like the horned and haloed “interstellar monkey dragon” adorning the cover, the first full length from Fuzz is a monster of awesome power, but it is also a benevolent beast. This cosmic creature’s affable smirk and faraway stare seems to implicitly recommend a mellow marijuana accompaniment, while the melting celestial inferno of his body suggests that a paranoid, acid drenched apocalypse is nigh.
Both of these feelings ring true for the album experience; “Earthen Gate” opens on an unnerving and eerie sustained drone which evolves into an atmospheric duel perfect for a Western gun draw shootout scene, then erupts with an intense, all out skull banging savagery.
The main differences between Fuzz and Ty Segall’s other work is the instrumentation dominated emphasis on experimentation. Fuzz has its fair share of noodling, and is full of mesmerizing, mystical grooves and bluesy jams, but it never seems to meander or lose sight of its aims. It is grandiose and blown out without being overblown. After all, Ty Segall does not have to prove to the listening masses that he can play, they are not stupid, and they already know this.
Throughout the album, Ty’s vocals are like a vengeful Zeus discharging thunder bolts from a tempestuous, cloud blackened sky, while guitars twist in an undulating dance like cobra snakes being charmed out of a voodoo shaman’s rattan basket. Maybe I’m doing it a disservice by reveling in rock cliché metaphor, but this thing is BAD ASS.
“What’s In My Head?” has the most familiar Ty singalong chorus song structure, while “HazeMaze” and “Sleigh Ride” deliver maximum riffage played ferociously and filtered unforgivingly through pedals of the band’s namesake. “Loose Sutures” smokes through two Sabbath-like verses of booming, distorted bass, then adds some feverish guitar wig outs before allowing Segall an extended drum solo and ultimately returning full circle to insanity.
Some may criticise Fuzz by saying Ty’s rapid succession of releases means he doesn’t allow himself time to fully develop his ideas, but I would disagree. On the contrary, it qualifies him as one of the most focused musicians around, and I challenge you to try finding fault in his transition to drums and tell me the performance is sloppy… There is nothing half measured or wasted here, just a pure potent fire of balls out brilliance. I also think people tend to forget Ty drummed and played most of the instruments on his solo albums, so having him sitting behind the kit for Fuzz is really nothing new. When Segall rips this hard, and with such reliable consistency, there’s not a whole lot to legitimately complain about.
All words by Carrie Quartly, you can read more of her writing on the site here.