Why I Love the Fuzz

I can pretty much rattle off perfect albums in my head. These are those special records that after listening, maybe ten or twelve thousand times, you realize there is no way they could have been improved. Meaning, every song means something, and there’s not a dud among them. My list, like me, is short – and includes:

Fantomas – Director’s Cut
Cramps – Songs The Lord Taught Us.
The Avalanches – Since I left you
Tobacco – Maniac Meat
The Clash – self-titled
Sex Pistols – Never mind the Bollocks…
Public Image – Second Edition
Bad Brains –  I against I
U2 – Boy
X – Los Angeles
Black Flag – Damaged
Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
Clinic – Walking With Thee
The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin
Edan  – Beauty and the Beat
Gang of Four – Songs of the Free
Beastie Boys – License to Ill
John Grant – Queen of Denmark
Mr. Bungle – California
Tilts – Tilts

Torche – self-titled

That’s not a lot. Which is why I get excited when I find a new perfect 10, in which every single song makes my spine spasm in delight. The sign of a perfect album: when you play one song to death, only to find another one on the album to take its place. And when you tire of that one, another just “appears,” and you’re back to shooting it straight into your brain, over and over. 

I must refer you, now,  to Fuzz, and their first album, “Fuzz.” Bland name. Bland title. But it’s 36 minutes or so of psych rock perfection, with vicious riffs and demonic vocals. The band is made up of Ty Segall, on drums,  Charles Moothard on guitar, and Roland Cosio on bass. I’m pretty sure Segall – a crazed genius – is the singer (here’s his website:http://ty-segall.com/ ).  When I bought the record, I listened to “Whats in my Head” over and over again, and every time it ripped my head off. 

Here it is:

Then, after 2 weeks,  I worked backward to “Sleigh Ride,” a song that begins with a methodical progression that soon transforms into a hellish, delightful groove. I play that every morning to get me out of bed. A sign of a great song: when you hit replay before the song is a third over. You just need to hear that beginning one more time, when the song shifts from a predictable plod to a straight, downhill ride that takes your brain with it. Twenty seconds in, it becomes a steam roller.  

Here it is:

Shit, here’s the whole record:

It’s really hard to find great guitar-driven, freakout rock bands as vicious as these miraculous creeps, these days. But for some reason San Fran is spitting them out. This record, along with Segal’s nonstop, brilliant solo output, and the great bands the Sic Alps and Thee Oh Sees, these ghouls are reinventing electric madness in brutal bursts.   “Sleigh Ride, “Loose Sutures,” “Hazemaze” — yeesh – these guys make the Who seem like the Eagles. Seriously – they rock. And I hate using “rock” as a verb (as a noun, it’s perfectly fine), but they destroy.  

Buy this record.

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