Ty Segall has spent his last calendar year proving that his prolificacy and commitment to the scuzziest of 60’s influenced garage rock know no humanly bounds. After the paisley haze of his collaborative album with White Fence, the blown-amp-crackle of his Ty Segall Band record, a third album of garage rock gold under his own name, and a manic touring schedule behind him, you could imagine Segall choosing to bask in all the praise lavished on him and take it slow to close out his manic 2012.
But that was, obviously, not the case. As we reported last week, Segall and his touring bandmate Charlie Mootheart took to the stage for a couple of LA performances revealing themselves to be the duo behind the quasi-mysterious Fuzz project. Their debut 7” for Trouble in Mind is just about exactly what we’ve come to expect from the crazed side of Segall’s recording output. “This Time I Got A Reason” kicks off with a slow burn, Segall’s spastic drum fills underscoring the chiseled thrum of Mootheart’s stoner rock riffs. It’s lyrically sparse, largely centered around the title of the song itself, but it comes across as a rallying cry, a snarled pout equal in malice to the pummeling that Mootheart delivers to his six string. It’s dangerous sounding, unhinged in a way that only Segall’s projects manage at such a sludgy tempo. “Fuzz’s Fourth Dream,” the B-side, continues in the same vein, though stripped of vocals, laying bare Mootheart’s Hendrix indebted lines and Segall’s monolithic fills. It’s perhaps less essential than the A-side but functions in a way to lend meaning to this project. Fuzz is where Segall, drums sure, unleashes the unrestrained id of 30 years of blunted Rawk history and distills its down to the often restrictive format of a guitar and drums duo. Only Segall could do it this well. It’s not necessarily the most eloquent or relatable Segall release to surface in the past year, but it is the one where I’d be most likely to heave myself on the shoulders of the sweaty dudes in front of me at a basement gig and risk beheading on the exposed pipes hanging from the ceiling as I coast toward the stage. It’s Fuzz, and it’s alive.