Ty Segall (who has performed with and under a lot of monikers) and Brian Chippendale (who’s most famously a part of the noise rock torchbearers Lightning Bolt) have united for a feat of wild, perfectly disorienting groove on the now available debut album from their new collaboration project Wasted Shirt. The album — called Fungus II — feels like a frontier pockmarked with strange blasts of feedback upon which devilishly snaking, super energetic twists of guitar and drum melody rise. Even the drums themselves (from Chippendale) feel like they’re delivering these skyward-reaching melodies, and the whole album feels like a step into a psychedelically disorienting rush.
Within the confines of Fungus II, you’ll find what feels like the sonic equivalent of a blinding array of bright neon signs blinking off and on in some barely comprehensible rhythm that may or may not actually be there. By themselves, the various elements here, ranging from the guitar and bass lines to the perpetually in-motion drums, might be the backbones for a catchy, more straightforward song, but here, they’ve been combined and twisted into a new creation where excitement rises from the contortions.
Throughout the album, there are plenty of bursts of guitar and drum noodling alongside the more straightforwardly progressing grooves, and it’s not all chaos, per se — “Harsho,” for instance, starts off a bit on the softer side, with a more stripped back presentation of the group’s often (but definitely not always) wordless melodies. Intensity ready to leap out with abandon always lurks between the cracks of these combinations. “Harsho,” for instance, ends with breakdown-like bursts of the wriggling combo drum and guitar riff attacks, and the listening experience feels a bit like watching bright fireworks blasting in the sky — it’s truly a great time.
The leaps of lurching guitar and bass groove with harried, shouted vocals occasionally popping up all feel ready made for great and exciting relistening. The chaos of noise rock has become psychedelic thanks to the relentlessness of this album, and listening whether for the first or tenth time feels a bit like stepping right on into the strangeness of the cover art scene, which features a punk and folks dressed for the wilderness and cow-wrangling sitting down for an apparent meal in some unidentifiable but vast natural expanse.
Listen to the album below! It’s available via Famous Class Records, who fittingly have a neon green vinyl available.