“Familiarly disappointing”: Fuzz – Fuzz II (Album review)

If Fuzz had released their first album in the early 2000s they would have been hailed as the natural successors to Dinosaur Jr’s noise crown, filling in for J Mascis while he went off exploring his softer side. As it was, it was 2013, and the eponymously-titled debut release simply made a minor impression on people like me who like people who like to make distorted alternative rock.

For their second album – Fuzz II (where do they get their ideas?) – the band, a side project for Ty Seagall and Charles Moothart, travelled further back than that late-1980s alternative sound, back to the genesis of Mascis’s loud, fuzzy indie rock. Mascis has never been shy to acknowledge the influence of the likes of Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, and their late-60s, early-70s proto-metal sound, and so, too, have Fuzz found their way back in those heady days of uppers, downers, self-constructed distortion pedals, and recorded music that sounded OH SO LIVE.

But here’s the thing: even in 2013, no-one was doing Dinosaur Jr, but every man and his dog have done the retro-fugging thing, and sadly Fuzz don’t make enough of their own fist of it to produce anything more than a competent retread of something that is instantly dated to being a long, long, long time ago. It’s not [i]bad[/i], it’s very, very good for what it is, but what it is just isn’t anywhere near essential or even all that diverting in 2015.

If you like heavy, distorted guitars, pounding drums, blunt lyrics, and something familiarly disappointing, this might be the album for you. It’s not for me.