In The Red Records
Pre Strike Sweep
For all his relentless writing, Ty Segall still manages to give us something to smile about with GØGGS. Though his newest effort with GØGGS doesn’t always offer the same creativity his other projects bring to familiar sounds, the band does bring a passion that is hard to ignore. For all its creative shortcomings this record is fun and really true to the ethos of punk and metal, and you can hear that in its bones.
With all the heavy stomps across this record, there’s nothing that hits quite so immediately hard as “Killing Time.” Like early Queens Of The Stone Age, the track’s primal but sonically sophisticated take to metal and hard rock is that deep and satisfying rush of grit and mud that makes us love this kind of music. “Pre Strike Sweep” just continues this momentum as if it’s a solo you didn’t see coming but welcome nonetheless. As tiring as it is to roll on so much fuzz and powerful crashes of sound, GØGGS are distinctly themselves here. However it’s the way they start playing with rhythm and percussive hooks that make something like “Still Feeding” so fun and avoid hitting a sort of repetition in their record.
This almost creates a sort of discordance for the furious riffing of “Space Rinse” which is fast and exciting but lacks the kind of dynamic depth that GØGGS starts to show. Though it can feel too straightforward, GØGGS’ fans know they’re hear for something more singular and emotionally relieving anyways. This said, “CTA” plays with its more open drum moments to let this reckless writing feel all the more explosive. Along with some sharp breaks and weird left turns, this song proves to be a strong entry on the album. GØGGS do bring some surprises in the more patient composition of “Vanity” as they transition between riff-rock and a kind of swinging style of percussion that feels more jazzy than rock at times.
This fires GØGGS right into the frantic delivery of “Disappear,” that for all its rushing energy ends up feeling like a tweaked take on what Segall has done alone in the past. At least with something like “Burned Entrance” they’re reviving old metal traditions and pushing them through a kind of sonic blender to usher them out to a new generation. In this way however your enjoyment of the record is ultimately up to your ability to overlook how much it plays on rock’s past, and how its writing plays to these tenants even when it reinvents them. “Rupture Line” is itself one of the more ambitious departures on the record, where its sonic palette goes from simple punk to something really chaotic and excitingly messy.
GØGGS brings us home on “Funeral Relief” where their rush of instrumentation hits harder than ever and takes on sinister tones almost like the Misfits. This new found energy is equal parts goofy and raw, and turn these final moments of the record into something that is entertaining on a whole other level. “Morning Reaper” itself takes time to mix in these sharp drum-fill stops to really get you back into the writing before the record closes in crash of fiery playing.
Words by Owen Maxwell