In 2017 it seems daunting to get an experience that is completely and utterly pure. Lately there seems to be a trend of genre blending that has infected almost every corner of the music industry. Hip Hop artists like Anderson Paak and Childish Gambino are now heavily incorporating elements of Funk, Indie rockers like King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are delving into more experimental sounds, drawing inspiration from the acid laced guitars of the 60’s, etc etc. Ty Segall however must of missed the memo. His newest self titled record released on the 27th of January is a straight up garage rock record, and thats not a bad thing.
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Like previous entries in his catalog, Segall sticks to a very formulaic approach, and that’s ok. That being said, ‘Ty Segal’ is his best and most digestible album yet. Album opener ‘Break a Guitar’ doesn’t hold back and certainly sounds the way one would imagine. Crunchy power chords and driving drums lead into Segalls’s familiar brand of lo-fi vox, reverb effects and all. In terms of lyrical content, Segall keeps it simple on this track (Oh, baby, take a guitar/I want you to be a big star/Oh, I was made in the, made in the rain/I was made in the, made in the rain). While not exactly on par with Dylan, Segall proves he has songwriting chops later on.
Tracks such as ‘Freedom’ and ‘The Only One’ will surely stand out to Ty’s longtime fans as essentials (the former may also have one of the most frantic, off the wall guitar duels of 2017). Both these songs embody the raw spirit and energy that only Ty Segall can control and manipulate with a guitar and amp.
‘Orange Color Queen’, a song that Segall penned for his girlfriend, holds up well not just as a single, but also as an organic piece of the album. Although one of “quieter” songs on here, it proves Ty Segall can write a damn good love song. Segall passionately croons to his girl “I don’t want to call you lady/ I just want to call you hair and grin/ Feel the warmth of your skin”. Its moments like these on the record where one can see just how far Segall has come and matured as a musician.
The fact that Segall is so dedicated to his craft is a double-edged sword. On one end this is everything a fan of the genre would want in a garage rock record; distorted guitars, heavy drums, and a vocalist with all the proto-punk requirements. On the other hand, this isn’t the record that is going to convert any on the fence listeners. While Ty’s latest entry probably won’t stand the test of time or make it into any record books, ‘Ty Segall’ is unabashedly great rock and roll.
‘Ty Segall’ is out now via Drag City