written by: September 30, 2013
Album-art-for-FUZZ-by-FUZZ Release Date: October 1, 2013


California hard-rock trio FUZZ has finally released its self-titled debut after two years in the making. As the band’s name hints, this release is as fuzzy and gritty as one can imagine, drowning the listener in a sea of tenacious noise.

The group’s three members, drummer and lead singer Ty Segall, guitarist and backup vocalist Charles Moothart, and bassist Roland Cosio, have been fine-tuning their ruckus over the past few years to create an energy-driven, high-powered album that is reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s defined sound.

While the band takes obvious inspiration from bands like Sabbath and even Jimi Hendrix, it feels as if it takes a little too much from music that has already been done and redone since that era. FUZZ could easily be a collection of unreleased tracks from the early ’70s, which comes as both a good and a bad thing.

The main downfall of this record is its lack of overall originality, style-wise. It’s a great example of classic hard rock, but the genre has outstayed its welcome.

The style has been duplicated by an innumerable number of bands, making it hard for FUZZ to stand apart in the vast pit of similar artists, especially when the specific road the group chose to go down sounds all too familiar to old-school hard rock fans.

One thing that helps set FUZZ apart is Segall’s high-pitched, punk vocals. They’re a fresh addition to instrumentation that sometimes sounds a bit too copied from the past.

But what the band lacks in originality, it more than make up for in talent and musicianship.

FUZZ has obviously taken a great deal of influence from the hard rock of the ’70s and ’80s, but it has taken these roots and raised the bar to a new level.

Moothart’s guitar is the most impressive facet of the band, outshining even Segall’s vocals. His gruff, overdriven, wavering lead guitar is what drives the LP, bringing the rest of the band up a couple of notches.

Songs like “Loose Structures” and “Preacher” show off Moothart’s undeniable mastery of guitar and stand out as some of the strongest tracks on FUZZ.

The extensive guitar solos that travel all over the board prove time after time to be the band’s major selling point.

The guitar is also responsible for one of the best aspects of the album: the ability to bridge the gap between hard rock and psychedelic rock on certain songs. Trippy tracks like “What’s In My Head?” have a steady groove, but they’ll still make you bang your head.

A lot of respect is due to the band; it has flawlessly managed to bring the listener back to an incredible era of music. The only problem is that this acts as somewhat of a pigeonhole. FUZZ is a gifted group and has proven itself to be worthy of attention with its debut, but it would be nice to see Segall & Co. step out of that box.

The newer aspects of the album are what make it shine; if FUZZ made a record built around those elements, it would be much more unique and enjoyable.

This self-titled release is solid in its musicality, but FUZZ missed an opportunity to be extraordinary.

FUZZ – FUZZ tracklist:

  1. “Earthen Gates”
  2. “Sleigh Ride”
  3. “What’s In My Head”
  4. “Hazemaze”
  5. “Loose Sutures”
  6. “Preacher”
  7. “Raise”
  8. “One”