Words About Music
I’ve written before about the music of the incredibly prolific young singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist known as Ty Segall. He released a solo album less than 2 months ago that was pretty good, and last year he released at least three records with his name attached to them. Don’t even get me started on the amount of 7 inches, EPs, singles, and demos he’s recorded. He’s also collaborated with numerous bands and artists, including White Fence, Thee Oh Sees, and Mikal Cronin. Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly have more Ty Segall in our lives, he comes through with yet another project: Fuzz. Fuzz is a collaboration that includes Ty on drums/vocals and Charlie Moonheart on guitars, with Roland Cosio performing the bass parts during live performances. Fuzz definitely draw influence from psychedelic garage rock that is more of the hard rock variety. If Ty Segall’s musical output is “Purple Haze,” then this Fuzz album is definitely “Fire.” With equal parts stoner rock and 60s garage rock, “Fuzz” is probably Ty’s best album in about 14 months or so.
While Ty Segall did not want to be the centerpiece of this group, it’s hard not to recognize such a recognizable indie figure, especially when he releases albums like they’re essays. But as prolific as he is, he is still able to crank out albums that at least have some sort of musical worth. While plenty of artists’ huge discographies are just a part of that artist’s image and rarely contribute to the legend of the music, Ty Segall is actually capable of making catchy, fun, sometimes brilliant music in short periods of time. And even if you don’t like an album he puts out, wait a couple months and he’s got a new one for you to try out.
“Fuzz” is the sort of classic rock throwback record that is good on its own. A lot of bands get praise from fans and critics simply because they can successfully recreate the era of music they’re emulating, but Ty Segall and Fuzz are capable of making music that sounds like it could have been released forty years ago, yet it still maintains that modern rock quality that keeps it more than a simple tribute. And, this is also a great example of Ty’s musical talent. His drumming style is loose and playful while still being tight and calculated, much like The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s drummer Mitch Mitchell. I must also praise the guitar tones, which are fuzzy, no pun intended, in a way that alludes to the grunge movement as well as the classic garage rock that inspired it.
While “Fuzz” may not be the most memorable album of the year, and maybe not the best album with Ty Segall’s name attached to it, it’s still a testament to the high-quality hard-rocking that maybe didn’t get much play on his most recent solo album “Sleeper.” It’s fairly short and the songs blend into each other in a way that might make them sound a bit too similar, but overall it’s a fun, consistent, concise group of songs from a modern-day musical mastermind.
SCORE – 8.1
FAVORITE TRACKS – Earthen Gate, What’s In My Head?, HazeMaze, Loose Sutures, Raise, One