Back in the Pit
GØGGS, the self-titled full-length album from garage punk veterans Ty Segall, Charles Moothart and Chris Shaw, is the perfect embodiment of all the sounds and movements of a hardcore mosh pit. Much like a mosh pit, while this album might leave you with a few scrapes and bruises, the chaotic madness is definitely worth your time.
Tracks like “Falling In,” “Assassinate the Doctor” and “Shotgun Shooter,” with their sporadic and hard-hitting percussion, head-banging guitar riffs and practically incoherent yet purposeful lyrical screeching are reminiscent of that one tank top-wearing guy in every mosh pit who is constantly throwing elbows into everyone else. Sure, maybe too intense for some, but in the end, those bruises make for great stories.
Meanwhile, tracks like “Needle Trade Off,” “Final Notice” and “Glendale Junkyard” are similarly intense yet at the same time somewhat spooky and black, with their synthesized squealing sounds, discordant, ethereal guitar and off-beat percussion embody that one guy wearing a black sweatshirt in the middle of July who is bobbing his head steadily in the back of the pit. His presence makes you a little uneasy, but his quiet cool ultimately makes you more comfortable with the rancor that surrounds you.
GØGGS have absolutely outdone themselves with this uniquely progressive yet familiar collection of garage punk. The tracks are not so different from each other that they make no sense as a collective, but at the same time feature enough instrumental and lyrical variation that they do not simply blend together and become lost within each other. Moreover, no track is too long – all seem efficiently portioned out to where you never become overwhelmed with one track but are always left anticipating the next.
The one downfall of this album is that the lyrics are very difficult to understand. This is due in part to the fact that the instrumental accompaniment is extremely loud, but the shouted lyrics are often simply under-enunciated until each track’s respective chorus comes along. However, whether the lyrics can be understood or not, they are often delivered with passion and vigor that mirrors that of the general feel of each track. Overall, GØGGS is an extremely successful garage punk album which is as likely to leave you with a few bruises as it is to become your most recent and dedicated earworm.