FUZZ, the Los Angeles-based trio of Ty Segall (drums, vocals), Charles Moothart (guitar, vocals), and new member Chad Ubovich (bass, vocals), have returned with their third album and first album in five years. Appropriately titled III, the band comes back with their familiar modern stoner rock but unlike their two previous outings, FUZZ now fully embraces a late 60’s and early 70’s straightforward hard rock sound. Where before you could only make comparisons, now you can find FUZZ officially sitting on the shelf next to Sabbath and Alice Cooper.
III hits you like a buzz saw right from the opening muscle of “Returning” as its driving riffs are pulled together with Segall’s drumming and the group’s harmonizing chorus that cuts through the noise. This type of amp flex propels FUZZ through each and every track as the band create a multitude of memorable instrument moments. The cool swagger of the repetitive guitar and bass lines in “Spit” will have you asking for more. The dirty blues guitar on the over six minute “Time Collapse” is a nice addition, especially when the song changes gears and tempo right in its middle that includes an alter worshiping guitar solo. The album closes with “End Returning” that initially crosses a prog border before it breaks out into a vicious garage punk out for a feverish close.
Moothart and Segall both give fierce vocal performances which give III its life blood. Both of them easily fits the spirit of the album and you already know their voices can match any volume level. The album was recorded and mixed at United Recording with Steve Albini with minimal use of overdubs and studio tricks. His style fits this trio like a glove and by letting the band do their thing, the album sounds completely live and organic. It’s almost like you are the “Blown Away Guy” in the classic ad for Maxwell cassettes as you take this record in.
You may not find any new ground broken from FUZZ on III but I will tell you that this is the most “band like” album the group has produced. Before it was easy to just call this another Ty Segall project but now in its eighth year, you can for sure officially just call it FUZZ and rock the hell out!
Key Tracks: “Spit” / “Close Your Eyes” / “End Returning”
Artists With Similar Fire: Black Sabbath / Spiny Normen / Alice Cooper
-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony