There are prolific musicians and then there are guys like Robert Pollard, Phil Elverum, and Ty Segall. The last of which is a 26-year-old musician hailing from San Francisco, California who dabbles in a variety of rock sub-genres. For the most part, they’re tinged with that garage sound, meaning they’re typically gritty and grimy. That’s probably why he chooses to release so many of them on cassette; the lo-fi hiss only adds to the aesthetic and makes it feel that much more authentic.
Segall has so many albums, EPs, singles, and split projects that you could listen to him and only him for a week straight without getting bored. OK, that’s a bit of hyperbole, but this guy puts in work like few others could even aspire to. For example, he has eight solo albums to his name since 2008 and he released two of them this year alone. Additionally, you can find him collaborating with like-minded acts White Fence and Mikal Cronin. Segall’s latest venture, though, is playing drums and singing as part of relatively new outfit Fuzz.
The distortion-loving three-piece also features adrenaline junkies Charlie Moothart on guitar and Roland Cosio on bass. Together with Segall, they create punk-meets-stoner-rock up there with some of the best of the past year. Their self-titled debut strikes a balance between Segall’s tried-and-true garage rock ways and his fondness for heavy riffs.
It’s blistering but not without moments of smoky meditation, and it makes for a killer soundtrack to whatever you’re up to. That includes driving to (or from) work, playing some games online at a site like BetFair Casino, or getting ready to jam on your own guitar or drumkit with your friends. That type of versatility doesn’t just equate to good song writing. The kicker here is the replay value, especially when you consider the album doesn’t even hit the 40-minute mark.
An instant standout is “Loose Sutures”, which hits just like you’d think with that a title like that. It’s a loosely structured jam filled with solos from each member of the band—yes, the bass solo still lives. There’s also plenty of snarling chugs to keep it moving right along before Moothart’s guitar bursts through and finishes off the track. Also invigorating is the slower-paced “What’s In My Head?” that also features Moothart stealing the show with some help from Cosio’s molasses-thick bass. The tonal juxtaposition really just needs to be heard. “What’s In My Head” is also one of the harsher, more monolithic cuts on Fuzz and serves as a great starting point for stoner-rock newcomers with a fondness for all things hip and new.
Elsewhere, “One” pummels with the driving force of rock and metal’s ballsiest forebearers: think Led Zeppelin’s most punishing tune without Robert Plant’s vocals, or any vocals at all for that matter. The six-minute instrumental serves as the closer to what is a brisk, sometimes brutal listen that will likely leave you craving more music from Segall. If that’s the case, then don’t worry, because there’s plenty to go around. Just don’t expect them to all sound exactly like this, because he likes to jump from one style to the next. That being said, here’s hoping he keeps Fuzz intact for at least another album or two.
01. Earthen Gates
02. Sleigh Ride
03. What’s in My Head
05. Loose Sutures
Run Time: 36:17
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Check out the song “Loose Sutures”