Whether you’re ready or not, Ty Segall, Charlie Moothart, and Chad Ubovich are back with Fuzz’ third album, III. Starting out with their self-titled debut in 2013, the trio of Cali psych rock vets put out an album with Sabbath-like riffs and Blue Cheer garage rock abandon, setting the bar extremely high for riff-heavy rock and roll.
On III, Segall, Moothart, and Ubovich don’t change the recipe as much as they hone in on the catchy hook aspect of their bludgeoning sound. Continuing the late-60s fuzz pedal attacks, on album three Fuzz create a more accessible sound. Almost opening the door to early 70s AOR rock. III owes as much to Grand Funk Railroad, Head East, and early ZZ Top as it does to Sabbath, the Stooges, and Blue Cheer.
“Returning” opens the album with an all-out guitar assault, complete with soaring harmonies and a cleaner sound than on the first two Fuzz records. Legend Steve Albini gives Fuzz the Albini treatment and in turn we get the most sonically rich Fuzz record yet. “Nothing People” has a kind of early 70s strut, like James Gang on their tenth pot of coffee. Moothart is an absolute guitar God here, laying down some killer riffs and solos, bringing to mind Earthless’ resident guitar virtuoso Isaiah Mitchell. “Spit” adds some serious soul to the Fuzz crunch, adding a playful vocal turn in the bridge. This is three musicians locked into each other and just letting go.
Elsewhere “Close Your Eyes” brings together perfectly the 60s psych with the more riff-and-groove-heavy sound of early 70s guitar rock. “Blind to Vines” locks into some serious Thin Lizzy vibes, bringing the heavy blues riffs with a touch of twang for good measure. But for those of you wanting some of that classic Fuzz molten riffs you won’t be disappointed with the magnificent “Mirror”, and especially album closer “End Returning” which starts out with some early Mudhoney and Soundgarden vibes and only gets louder and fiercer as the track rolls thru its over seven minute dirge.
Fuzz continues to make powerhouse records, and III is no different. With Steve Albini at the helm III is an absolute rock and roll delight.
7.8 out of 10