Two years ago Ty Segall—in the midst of releasing solo records, as well as collabs with Mikal Cronin and White Fence—stepped behind the drumkit for the fuzzed-out ’70s heavy rock bliss of Fuzz. The power trio tried to keep Segall’s identity hidden, without success. And while his spirit (and vocals) are part of Fuzz’s DNA, they’re not the focus. Fuzz is its own thing. Mostly.
The band—which also includes riffmeister Charlie Moothart and new bassist Chad Ubovich (who rips with L.A. glam-rockers Meatbodies)—have again set out to lay down riffs capable of leveling city blocks. With that, II succeeds. “Pipe” and “New Flesh” rip with Sabbathian might. But Fuzz are more interesting when they leave Earth’s atmosphere. Space jams like “Time Collapse II/The 7th Terror” and the closing title track get unhinged, as the band circles the sun and comes back down to middle earth.
The clean and heavily reverbed vocals keep Fuzz from going full proto-metal, keeping the songs somewhat corralled in Segall’s garage. The drums crash like thunder. And while the riffs are blissfully fuzzy, some just aren’t all that memorable, instead playing out like a patchwork of Sabbath-meets BÖC-meets Uriah Heep (the record’s double-length also adds to the white noise).
Nodding heavily to those bands is not necessarily a bad thing, but there have been oceans of fuzz prior to Fuzz. While II has its stellar (and interstellar) moments, the band could use a little focus—otherwise they could risk becoming just a fuzzy memory.