Recording information: The Sweat Lodge (2006); Turk and Taylor (2006); Usf Hayes Healy Dormitory Aka Ty's Dorm (2006); Wizard Mountain (2006); The Sweat Lodge (2007); Turk and Taylor (2007); Usf Hayes Healy Dormitory Aka Ty's Dorm (2007); Wizard Mountain (2007); The Sweat Lodge (2008); Turk and Taylor (2008); Usf Hayes Healy Dormitory Aka Ty's Dorm (2008); Wizard Mountain (2008); The Sweat Lodge (2013); Turk and Taylor (2013); Usf Hayes Healy Dormitory Aka Ty's Dorm (2013); Wizard Mountain (2013).
There's a fine line between a few guys goofing off with guitars and drums and a great punk rock band in action. That line is rendered all but invisible by the Traditional Fools, a trio Ty Segall briefly led after the Epsilons broke up and before he dropped his first solo record. The Traditional Fools featured Segall on guitar and vocals, Andrew Luttrell on bass, and David Fox on drums. The band attacked garage rock, surf music, and old-school punk with a premium on volume and only passing concern about technique, suggesting a less sodden version of the Mummies. The Traditional Fools' self-titled album (belatedly released in 2011) made a good case for their primitive attack. But if you want more of their blaring, lo-fi garage rock with even less subtlety, then Fools Gold is what you've been looking for. This set features the Fools' long out of print debut EP along with lucky 13 unreleased tracks from the band's archives. Fools Gold also includes highlights from live shows where the crowd cheers on the bandmembers as they run roughshod over their own songs. It would be pretty easy to assume these guys just didn't give a damn if it weren't for the zeal with which they tear into the songs, be they primitive originals or bashed-around covers. This may be slop rock, but it's inspired slop rock, played with the fervor of true believers. And even though literally millions of bands could beat this for technique, for sheer fun this is pretty hard to top. No one would want to live next door to the Traditional Fools, but being invited to one of their parties would be a great night out. Since the band is no longer a going concern, this slab of flaked-out favorites is the next best thing for yourself and your loved ones. Turn it up, and stop spilling so much beer! ~ Mark Deming