We Weren’t Prepared For The Genius Of Fuzz, Ty Segall’s “Proto-Metal Side Project”

It tells you a fair amount about our expectations that, even after downloading the eponymous first rec by Fuzz, the metal band in which Ty Segall sings and plays drums, not guitar, it took us a few days to listen to it.  We figured that, like the acoustic Sleeper, released in July, this was at best a novelty, and more likely something like Jack White’s Dead Weathers — a slumming throwaway.

Whoo! Were we ever wrong!  Fuzz is the best metal album we’ve heard since Assemble Head in Sunburst Sound’s When Sweet Sleep Returned.  Forget the references invoking Black Sabbath — and yeah, there’re some tunes (“HazeMaze”) that seem like they’re dream marching in a Seconal torpor through LaBrea sludge — this is an album of fast’n’wild punk metal in which guitarist Charles Moothart plays Hendrix licks while Ty sings with all the gusto previously employed on his contemporary classic solo slabs.

We’ve always thought the weak link in the records Ty records by himself is the drumming — not that it’s weak so much as we can imagine how great it could be if he had Aynsley Dunbar or Bev Bevan or Will Rigby pounding the skins.  The drumming here is good enough, which is fine, because the singing, guitar playing, and Roland Cosio’s bass playing is quite literally awesome.  This may be the best sounding record Ty Segall has ever played on.

Look, we expected this was going to be something we’d indulge, perfectly willing to grant young Ty a gap-year project, given how hard he’d worked to graduate from whatever was the San Francisco school he’s now left, while we eagerly await the next step in his brilliant education, the locale of which has moved back to SoCal.  Wrongo!  Fuzz is among the greatest works yet from 2012’s Artist of This Or Any Year.  It is so much better than what Ty did last time he recorded with Moothart (The Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse.)

This is Ty at his best, the music thrills, and we are blown away.

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