Ty Segall is back and this time he has collaborated with Brian Chippendale of Lightning Bolt to form Wasted Shirt. Their debut, Fungus II, finds both sharing the vocal duties, while Segall plays guitar, bass, and harmonizer and Chippendale is pounding on the drums.
I will warn you right up front that Wasted Shirt is not your typical Ty Segall experience. Fungus II falls much more into the realm of Chippendale’s Lightning Bolt and each track here is feverish, chaotic, unhinged, visceral, pounding, sometimes sludge driven and damn right schizophrenic. That description for some might be too much by itslef but right from the opening scream in first track “All Is Lost,” you feel like you just reached the moment Willy Wonka leads everyone onto his boat!
Most of Fungus II follows this high energy experimental bursts of music and most fans are probably better versed in the talents of Segall but what really grabs your ear here is Brian Chippendale’s drumming. He is and has been a force on the music scene and his crisp and phenomenal playing on Fungus II carries this record to another level. The album also instantly reminds of the 2014 Brian Chippendale & Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) dueling drum off record, which is also in the Famous Class catalog, that will blow your mind and is highly recommended to check out.
If you look within Fungus II you can find plenty of highlights. The spot on timing of guitar and drums near the ending in “The Purple One” are fantastic while the sonic fuzz that surrounds “Double The Dream” will knock you off balance. The vocal hum along that rises over “Zeppelin 5” is a nice touch that keeps the peace while the music spins out of control and supports the idea that Wasted Shirt know exactly what they are doing!
Fungus II won’t be for everyone as its experimental noise components may overtake some listener’s comfort level. What I like about Wasted Shirt is that it holds the narrative that Ty Segall does not like to repeat himself and he truly delivers a unique experience with each release. Fungus II for sure backs that idea up and if anything introduces more fans to the insane drumming talents of Brian Chippendale that will have your ear for this full record!
-Reviewed by Thomas Wilde