Ever stand too close to the speakers at a sold-out club show? You get that feeling that something isn’t quite right – the vibrations ripping through your body like neutrinos on their way through yet another planet, stopping for nothing. Some people shy away from it, but if you’re like me, that’s sort of the feeling you’re going for whenever you’re listening to any kind of music.
I’ve always thought of Black Sabbath as the kings of shred. There is nothing for me to do other than bang my head and sing along any time I feel that reverb cut through me. Their not-too-hard, not-too-soft, catchy-as-hell, grim-while-being-sexy approach to guitar-driven music scratches me behind the ears.
So if Black Sabbath is the king, then Fuzz (and, by extension, Ty Segall) is the younger brother of the king who has been corrupted by good intentions and ends up attempting to assassinate the king. They’ll probably fail, but making a run for the throne is half the fun!
Fuzz’s new album, II, which came out October 23rd, is a grip-and-ripper. From the opening to the closing, expect licks – lots of licks. The drums snap, the bass drives, and the guitar…licks a lot. Simply put, they shred. And they shred like no others.
It is important to note that Segall is not the main purveyor of tasty, crunchy riffs in this band. Segall has been placed on the throne (like how I called that back?) and gives his trademark vocal approach – all out. The man behind the riffage is Charles Moothart, a longtime collaborator of Segall’s.
From the album opener, “Time Collapse II/The 7th Terror,” which slowly comes on like a headache on Saturday morning, to “Pollinate,” probably the band’s closest attempt at a straight-ahead hard rock song, there is no boring moment. Even during the slower, less loud moments, like on “Bringer of Light” or “Burning Wreath,” when the guitars don’t drive as hard and there may not be pounding drums, you know that something heavy lies just around the corner.
Fuzz never disappoints. They play like their lives depend on keeping your head banging. It’s an “If the bus goes under 60, we all die” kind of situation. Also, who doesn’t like a Land of the Lost reference in the track listing?
The album ends on a freakout, but “II” may be the most intricate and delicately crafted song on the album. The rhythm section is cacophonous and provides the mountainous thunder. Guitars flow over it like water coming down said mountain. It’s a thing of beauty.
Fuzz is playing in my town soon, as they are currently on tour in support of their new album. You can be sure I’ll be there, up front, head down, bobbing with the music, not even looking up. It’s just too heavy, man.