“GØGGS’ second album, “Pre-Strike Sweep” is a retro throwback to how garage rock
used to be.”
It must be truly remarkable to take a peak at Ty Segall’s and Chris Shaw’s weekly agenda. Not only to see how vastly crammed those schedules may be, but to see how well organized everything is. To be able to cram so much time and put remarkably (and reliably) impressive music is never an easy feat to accomplish.
GØGGS’ second album, Pre-Strike Sweep out via In the Red Records, is a retro throwback to how garage rock used to be. As of today, most garage rock bands we can remember have enjoyed the success they earned. The Strokes now sell out stadiums, The White Stripes have their riffs chanted during sport events, and the Black Keys opt to record in an actual studio rather than in run-down old buildings. This not a bad thing, but it is something to take into mind as GØGGS successfully takes garage rock to its roots. The garage… or at least a minimally produced record to reflect the sound. All the songs present here are minimally produced with no overdubs whatsoever. The guitar sounds dirty and raw, the bass is fuzzy and thick, the drums hit ridiculously hard, and vocals are screamed just to avoid being drowned out in the sea of chaotic, but ultimately great songs. On paper, this approach seems like a bit of a turn-off, but songs like the title-track and “Space Rinse” beg to be head banged to. Taking some inspiration from aforementioned bands, “Still Feeding” starts of with a blues inspired riff that recollect the Black Keys but rapidly includes a number of fast bar chords probably more familiar to the White Stripes. “Vanity” has a thick and distorted bass guitar driving the center of the highway while the guitar and drums stay off to the side lanes all before and very satisfying climax rapidly shifts the song into a dangerous and energetic ride. Even the cleanest track on the record “CTA” presents a fast and chaotic experience.
Pre-Strike Sweep is a reminder that garage rock still has some legs to stand on. It
is reminder that an album does not require a nice and clean shine to it with all the bells
and whistles to be deserving of praise. Sometimes it’s nice and refreshing to listen to
something that is fast-paced and dirty with minimal production to get your head banging. The songs take inspiration from more recent successful garage bands and tweaks those influences to create something original and remarkably impressive here. “Pre-Strike Sweep” is an ode to all the kids who got together and played shows in a garage or a crowded venue with minimal equipment available. It’s fast, chaotic, dirty, and damn good fun.
By Caleb Ortiz