by Conor Rooney (@sold_for_scrap)
Never has a band’s name lived up to itself more than California based garage-trio Fuzz, the side project of Ty Segall, Charles Moothart and Chad Ubovich. My first introduction into the world of Ty Segall was in my friends college dorm room during our freshman year. “Dude, you need to check this out..” as he handed me ‘Slaughterhouse’. I don’t remember listening to anything else that day. Honestly I might’ve skipped class because of it. Totally worth it.
This was roughly around the time when his side project Fuzz released their debut, so needless to say that was a very fuzzy fall/winter. Ty Segall’s been up to a crazy amount since that record came out: releasing a full length, producing albums for the likes of La Luz and Birth Defects, as well as starting an imprint on Drag City under the name “GOD? Records”. Luckily, (and thankfully) he’s found some time to focus on Fuzz’s sophomore album. Appropriately titled “FUZZ II”, the record feels like reuniting with an old friend. A friend soaked in tasty riffs and reverb-drenched goodness.
I think we all want a friend like that.
The record opens with the swirling “Time Collapse 2 / The 7th Terror”. It pretty clear that they’re picking up just where they left off with Fuzz (and at roughly seven minutes long, it’s already longer than any song off of it). The melody on this song is simple but that’s totally okay because it builds and escalates into something seriously fun JUST before they switch it up into a blues-inspired groove. Initially, it reminded me of David Bowie’s “Jean Genie” which by any sense of the word isn’t a bad thing. That feels like a super weird comparison but sure. Lyrically, Fuzz II gets pretty damn heavy. The opening line is “The terror / you'll rot / when you are lost / The terror is king / in the machine”. Setting a darker tone to the already gritty tunes. Moothart’s tone is incredibly raw, just as the bass is, and the drum sound fits oh-so-perfectly with the rest of the band. What I’m saying is that everything people loved about Fuzz in the first place is back and tastier than ever.
Most of the songs on here follow this general structure of evolving into another riff, and this gives the whole album a very satisfying and filling feeling. Standout tracks to me include "Red Flag" and "II". "Red Flag" is easily the most punk inspired track. It’s borderline anthemic (as anthemic as a punk song can be) with the lyrics “Red flag! / make you realize / Red flag! / I'm your nightmare!” I definitely got a few odd looks from people when I sing along, but you can’t not get caught up. "Burning Wreath" mellows out for a few seconds where Moothart takes a more subdued intro and very warmly picks through a short melody before kicking it back into full gear. "II," the final track, is such a perfect way to close out the album and by far my favorite. 13 minutes of back and forth between the members feels like a pure fuzz war between Moothart and Ubovich while Ty Segall plays like mad for his life in the back. It’s gritty, dirty and doesn’t let you go until they’re sure that you’ve had enough.