Show Review: Fuzz @ Red 7

fuzzThis past Friday night was nuts here in Austin.  ACL Festival started, shows on every corner, at every venue, and hordes of happy people just milling about.  For me, my eyes were set on catching Fuzz over at Red 7.  Read on for my words on the band and more.  Photo courtesy of the hard-working badass, Pooneh Ghana. I’ll admit it was a long day for me: work, festival stuff, birthday celebrations and finally over to Red 7.  I was a bit behind schedule, so I missed our local opener on the night.  But, I did get there in time to see CCR Headcleaner; I sort of wish I hadn’t.  The band offers a wall of noise in the live setting, with no semblance of harmony on stage.  It was chaotic and loud; I just didn’t get it. Not my cup of tea.

Unfortunately, Fuzz had a run-in with a Texas wild hog, so they were behind schedule…by 45 minutes.  Several times I contemplated leaving, but was coerced by the friendly staff at Red 7 and their icy beverages to stay.  So glad I had the stamina to endure, as this was one of the best sets I’ve seen all year long.

I know tons of people laud Ty Segall for his high-octane shows and his prolific output, whether as a solo act or with Fuzz or even producing, and I’m not going to pretend like that’s not deserved.  His new band seems to have bridged the gap between metal fans and adoring hipsters, blending the two genres into one ferocious sound.  My amazement came on two different levels: Ty’s drumming and the band’s tight knit performance.

Those who’ve followed Ty Segall know he can sling an ax around, his hair flailing and his unique voice pushing things ahead, but I had no idea what a show I was in for watching him drum.  He pounded a minimal kit, creating a huge sound that demonstrated he’s just as talented behind the drums as he is with a guitar in his hands; I wonder if he can play bass? But, even more promising was how tight the band sound.  You’d think that loading in and playing immediately, after rushing to even make the gig, would hurry any group, but Fuzz were unaffected.  Every time change, momentary stoppage, switching of singers all went off without a hitch.  It was so exciting that the crowd turned into a rambunctious mob of banging heads and moshing adults. It was the most intense reaction I’ve seen at a show involving Ty, and I’ve seen a lot.

Fuzz blasted through most of the tracks off their recently released self-titled album. Each song demonstrated the power in song, with an enraptured crowd waiting on every crash of the cymbal. Surprising, they didn’t play “What’s in My Head” last, instead putting it a few songs before they left the stage.  After witnessing that track live, I’m going to make a statement that the chorus is the best thirty seconds of rock n’ roll written this year.  Had I left early, I wouldn’t have come to that realization, so I’m glad this old man was able to endure into the night to catch a show that can’t be missed.

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