GØGGS + FLAT WORMS + WARM DRAG + NAKED LIGHTS @ THE ECHO
Photos by Maximilian Ho Recap by Kyle Smith
Playing to a well-lubricated St. Patrick’s Day crowd, GØGGS nearly burned down The Echo in a true, smash-n-grab affair. GØGGS is garage punk on steroids, a fuzzy blur of what it probably sounds like to get socked in the face. Chris Shaw (Ex-Cult) led this assault, frequently singing with an arched back to match the posture of his mate Ty Segall, and at one point launching himself into the crowd – with the mic – to belt it out on his back.
Stage diving was the usual theme. The narrow Echo’s tiny stage doesn’t offer much of a runway, so those who chose to partake were literally in and among the four-man thrash before taking flight onto the elbows-out crowd. This particular charge was led by one maniacal woman, a proud repeat offender, and eventually led to as many bodies being tossed on to the stage as were flung off of it.
The urgent, bare bones performance barely eclipsed the time it would take you to watch a sitcom, yet managed to compress all of the action that one might experience in a 60 or 90 minute set in to that half hour. Of the ten songs on their 2016 self-titled debut, they played all but one (the excellent “Final Notice” was swapped out for unreleased track, “Pre Strike Sweep”).
Mid-set notables included the offbeat “Assassinate the Doctor,” and the unforgettably titled “Smoke the Würm.” Segall, wearing one of his many musical hats as part of GØGGS, eviscerated one song after the next, his frenetic riffing insistent and piercing.
Segall cobbled together ascending and descending lines that evoked a walk up and down a staircase on “GØGGS,” and played with the neck of his guitar perfectly perpendicular to the stage on the set closing “Glendale Junkyard.”
With the house lights turned on and the blitzkrieg dust not yet settled, the DIY label on Charles Moorhart’s kick drum became legible. With makeshift reflector stickers, it spelled “FREEDOM,” an apt banner for GØGGS’ ethos. Meanwhile, Segall humbly returned to pack up his gear in a mild manner that belied everything that just happened.