Wasted Shirt : Fungus II

Wasted Shirt is a collaborative project between Ty Segall and Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale. If you’re at all familiar with where these two individual artists are coming from stylistically then you should be very excited. And a little frightened. If you’re not familiar, then imagine songs culled together with exploding amplifiers, drums being abused beyond any Geneva Convention rules, and vocals resembling buzzsaws cutting through frozen slabs of beef. It’s a migraine in music form and it might be the most exciting thing I’ve heard in a long time.

Okay, now that I’ve scared the uninitiated away let’s talk. So imagine Segall’s classic Twins being atomically embedded into Lightning Bolt’s Wonderful Rainbow with slightly more groove thrown in. Ty Segall and one half of Lightning Bolt coming together to make a record seems like something one would come up with in a fever dream. You’d wake up and call one of your friends and tell them and you’d both have a good laugh about it, cause there’s no way that would happen. Is there?

Yes. Yes there is.

Fungus II is a glorious sound bomb on the world at a time a sound bomb is just what we need. It’s 30 minutes of weird noise, death metal, art rock, primal screams and experimental fun created in a sweltering California home studio(Ty’s home studio.) If you’re expecting a Segall album with Chippendale rocking the drums keep walking. This is a fully collaborative record, with equal mic-spitting time for both. In fact, it’s hard to discern one painful screech from the other. This is pure, glorious chaos.

Each song is varying degrees of sanity and song. Sound bombs going off in your ears with melody and groove escaping the sonic shrapnel long enough to pull you in. “All Is Lost” opens the album with a howl and manic guitar and drums. Just when you think it won’t relent Brian Chippendale goes into a full-on hyperdrive drum part. We’re building up to something amazing here. Imagine Mudhoney, King Missile, Lightning Bolt and Segall’s Fuzz warping into one glorious sound. This is that sound. “Zeppelin 5” sounds like “Immigrant Song” set to 45 rpm, the needle stuck on the vinyl during the first five seconds. “Harsho” is Chippendale drum madness, complete with Segall’s banshee howl of guitar. This is actually the most melodic track here. And if “Double The Dream” doesn’t get you excited and ready to jump off a building then you should check your pulse. Seriously, check it.

Fungus II is the full package, man. It’s heavy as hell, but in a way that is oddly endearing. Tracks like “The Purple One”, title track “Fungus 2”, and epic closer “Four Strangers Enter the Cement at Dusk” range from acoustic strums to demonic voices to drum workouts Neil Peart would’ve broken a sweat listening to. This record is the music equivalent of Evil Dead II: it’s manic, frightening, over-the-top, and good to the last bloody drop.

There’s not much more I can say to sell you on this album. Ty Segall and Brian Chippendale made a collaborative record together as Wasted Shirt. It’s called Fungus II. If you’re not already driving out to purchase said album at your favorite record store, then you probably never will. And that’s a real shame.

8.5 out of 10

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