Album Review: Fuzz’s “II”
Taylor Richards – Copy Editor
Any die-hard metal or garage rock fan would do themselves a favor by picking up Fuzz’s new album, “II.” The band is composed of Ty Segall, Charles Moothart and Chad Ubovich, all garage rock veterans of the west coast.
“II” is an hour and eight minutes long– it is “two albums in one” and finishes off with a 13-minute instrumental, in true Segall style. The album is definitely a long yet cohesive listen; each song blends seamlessly into one another.
On the first few listens, it is possible to let it fall into background noise if there are any distractions present, which makes a statement on how well the songs work together to create a greater entity.
But after getting past those first few listens, like anyone should when they listen to albums in full, each song carries its own distinct appeal. “Say Hello,” after a long, heavy instrumental opening, puts Segall’s eerie, high-pitched vocals on display.
Moothart balances the album by taking vocals on a few songs, like “Burning Wreath.” “Rat Race” and “Let it Live” give nods to British progressions; “Red Flag” is yell-y and punk. Each song has heavy guitar breakdowns, and almost all songs have loud, incoherent yells peppered into talky verses. Later songs like “New Flesh” and “Silent Sits the Dust Bowl” feature slower vocals and instrumentals.
It is important to acknowledge that Fuzz is different from other metal bands producing today. This album truly sounds like it belongs in the mid-1970s with overtones of Jimi Hendrix, King Crimson, and Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.”
On the first few listens, it is easy to assume that it just sounds like Sabbath, since Segall’s voice greatly resembles Ozzy Osbourne’s. But once each song is felt and understood, influences seem to come from everywhere. It is clear that the members of Fuzz are well-versed in garage and metal history.
Although there are constant heavy elements, “II” does not leave out any melodies that bring it back to its garage roots. Segall, Moothart and Ubovich were all high school friends and finally brought Fuzz out of side-project land and into the recording studio around 2011.
Segall is famous for his garage rock solo work and highly prolific career. He has released seven full-length albums and 30 singles since 2008 and collaborated on six full-length albums with various other musicians, according to Spin. He also tours the country every year.
One can wonder how he has time to do anything other than create and play music. Usually he sings and plays guitar in his solo work, with Moothart as his touring rhythm guitarist. For Fuzz, Segall plays drums and Moothart is lead guitar. Moothart really steps into the spotlight in “II” and steals the attention in every song, unlike their first album, which focused a little more on vocals and drums.
Fuzz’s “II” is a long and hearty listen that can appeal to old-school metal and garage fans alike, as well as fans of newer alternative. The profound skill of each musician in this band is truly astounding. Fuzz did not take any shortcuts in this album; each song sounds like a labor of love.
Photo Credit: Side Stage Collective