Wasted Shirt – Fungus II
Humor me with a summer day; grassy knolls and bush across untouched land. Rock formations range from the ground up to the bright blue baby sky for a post-impressionist dream. Then, the Earth starts to rumble from nowhere. The ground starts to let go, and poisonous oil shoots out for miles, killing every last bastard before the blood set sun, and screaming oil freaks run amok creating an epitaph for the human race. That’s what this album is essentially. No one said it was a good time, but when time is of the essence, things that don’t go quick are the things that excite. This album is frantically excited, manically excited. A true look into the schizophrenic condition, it’s very necessary, the world needs it. No album has made a love letter to insanity like this since Dark Side of The Moon, mind you. So turn it up loud and hear the ultimate tweak.
Ty Segall, good guy fuzz- and psych-punker, teams with Brian Chippendale, an evil static noise technician and a great drum rambler. Together they make Wasted Shirt, who in turn make love on Fungus II, the album in question. (No signs of Fungus I, suppose the prototype burnt from the inside out and caused a nasty hairy smell unfit for consumption.) They recorded this lot two years ago and sat on it. It’s out everywhere now, and it could very well be the only thing they ever make together. They’ll likely never play the songs live either. Shame, I would’ve liked to seize within mass riot in an epileptic confusion. Maybe it’s for the better. The National Guard already has so much on its plate.
The best part of Fungus II is the drum work. It’s rather modest in the mix, which makes it even more interesting. You can pick it out at your disposal and find something that’s really impressive. Even if they don’t in actuality, it seems like the drums are leading the music through the mayhem. They are the pulse of a madman with a pretty new axe. Speaking of axes, who could talk about a Ty Segall project without giving props to his truly? The guitar is a proper inversion to the other instruments present. It stirs you up, pinpricks your temples and drills out your brain, a fuzz-laden lobotomy that reanimates your perception of sound. When the guitar and the drums meet the white heat noise machine it comes together to create something almost beyond the five senses.
Once you find yourself slap in the middle of this music, you begin to wonder whether this magic is black or not. Its disruption calls for anarchy in the highest order. It’s punk when punk is at its best: apolitical. This is the stuff you loot to. Fungus II has no motive or goal, that would defeat the purpose of it entirely. Instead it seeks to wipe out everything to a white slate, then choke from the absence of air and bulge out of its skin, inside out, until there’s nothing left. It’s expert anti-music that wants to override the speed of sound and travel into silence overdrive forever. The album that wants to kill sound and be the last damned thing you hear so your mind can only associate your last note to complete chaos and disorder, which courts you into losing it. The military is gonna be on this tonight, weaponize it before dawn. The only thing to combat it would be a reenactment of the Coke Hilltop Commercial. (Even then your chances are slim pickins.) So might as well beat those flat tops to the punch, blast this album into your skull and throw yourself out a multi-story window once the blood’s coming from both nostrils. Godspeed.