By: Martyn Coppack
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Nobody could ever accuse Ty Segall of shirking off. In what amounts to one of the most prolific streaks of the last ten years or so, Segall has released album after album after EP after single after album. A never-ending stream of music in a variety of guises be it solo, with Mikal Cronin, with White Fence and here as Fuzz. Through all that time there has been one constant though, and no matter whether it’s one or three albums released in a year, the quality very rarely dips below excellent. It’s a rather remarkable feat and with the advent of a second Fuzz album, looks due to continue.
Whilst Segall’s solo releases see him mining a range of styles it’s often when he is working with someone else that the results really shine. Fuzz are a prime example of this and by joining forces with Charlie Moothart (guitars/riffs) and Roland Cosio (bass/fuzz) he releases his inner rock god and also demonstrates what a phenomenal drummer he is. Of course, we should never forget that Fuzz is a collaborative effort though and the real star of the show are the riffs that Moothart coaxes out of his guitar. Throw in the rumble of Cosio and you have one of the great power trios.
Fuzz II is a much heavier prospect than the debut album which was a finely balanced mix of out and out hard rock to more melodious fare. Here the music drops deep into Sabbath territory with it’s guitars forming a bedrock of music that sounds absolutely colossal at times. Strictly balanced for a jamming feel, little else remains of the poppier side although a song such as ‘Let It Live’ does feature a melody that The Beatles would have killed for. That’s until it shifts off into some sort of hurdy gurdy wonderland of psychedelic riffs.
There’s a rawness about Fuzz II, especially on the likes of ‘Bringer Of Light’ where the live feel adds to the heaviness of the album. This continues on the fuzz filled beginning of ‘Pipe’ which then turns into a complete homage to Black Sabbath with the jazzy riff and Segall doing his best Ozzy impression. It really is uncanny although not without its charms.
If there is one criticism to make about this album it’s that it is slightly over-long and a little disjointed. The heavy production makes for a tough listen at times too although this really should be taken as a minor point as the whole essence of the album is focused on doomed out garage. Fuzz were never the most original if bands and here they continue to do just what they do best.
The middle section of Fuzz II does sag slightly as the band hunt around for yet another way to deliver another crushing riff. ‘Red Flag’ offers a brief respite though with it’s snotty punk feel as Segall spits out the word to a cascading riff that threatens to fall apart at any given time. ‘New Flesh’ sounds like it could have come from Manipulator which is always a good thing and ‘Sleestack’ is a fun little jam which evokes those 1970’s cop shows where people wear wrap around shades and ride motorcycles all day.
Whilst Fuzz II doesn’t quite match up to it’s preceding album which was a finely formed piece of music, it does feature a myriad of treats for those inclined towards the riff. It’s a long listen which takes away from the immediacy of the debut and it’s heaviness does cloy after a while. It’s still a remarkable achievement though and amongst some of the more bloated offerings is a true classic waiting to erupt. Of course, none of this will bother the band who will just carry on as normal, doing what they do and for Segall it will be yet another notch on an already impressive career. A majestic if bloated affair of immense proportions.