Music

Ty Segall: Twins

The prolific Ty Segall is back with another great album.


Ty Segall

Twins

Label: Drag City
US Release Date: 2012-10-09
UK Release Date: 2012-10-09
Record Label Website
Artist Website
Amazon
iTunes

Being prolific in any field can be a sign of a furtive, inquisitive, restless spirit. Keen to push the boundaries, always striving to test oneself or, in Ty Segall’s case, his audience as well. Equally it could be a sign of a lack of quality control, just throwing stuff out there, no sense of direction or plan, a reckless abandon about what it is you are presenting and what it says about you.

It’s clear that Ty Segall falls firmly into the former category. Such is Segall’s multifarious nature it is almost impossible to get a grip on the bands he plays in and the number of releases he’s been involved with. Twins, however, is clearly Ty’s own work and is his sixth album solely under his own moniker (It is, though, is his fourth album this year: a singles comp, a collaboration with White Fence, and an album with The Ty Segall Band. How does he do it?).

Coming from the San Francisco area, there is a wired intensity to his work that goes against the grain of the perception of the laid back, relaxed vibe of that area (certainly from a UK view). But it is also true that Segall can be seen as part of that areas music heritage particularly in the psychedelic folk/rock scene of the 1960s. Certainly, any number of tracks from Twins would not be out of place on the revered Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968 LP.

Written and performed almost exclusively by Segall, save for some backing vocals by Bridget Dawson and Peter Grimm and Charles Moothart’s drumming on opener “Ghost”, Segall attacks this album with a controlled ferocity that screams of authenticity so beloved of the Garage scene. Fuzzed up power chords and relentless drumming, with Ty’s likeable vocals bringing it all together with added handclaps thrown in for good measure, the album rattles along and is amongst the best, if not the best, work his done.

Opener “Thank God for the Sinners” starts with reversed guitar ala the Beatles before settling into a ridiculously catchy groove with a chorus that borrows it’s way into your head before “You’re the Doctor” hurtles into existence, all urgent vocals, yelps and breakneck guitar noise. And then it’s gone just as quickly but not before you recognise the work of a special talent at play.

“The Hill” is the most "psychedelic" and Beatles-like with hints of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” accompanied by spaced out guitar lines redolent of Hawkwind. I’m now laughing to myself as I read back these words thinking this just doesn’t make sense! But honestly it does, it sounds brilliant and it works perfectly. It is a standout on an album of standouts.

“Love Fuzz” has the dangerous feel of the Stones at their sleaziest, hardest best, “Handglams” recalls the woozy brilliance of the Beatles/Siouxsie’s “Dear Prudence” before exploding into a wall of noise but then coming back to a falsetto beauty, it’s all over the place but is such a great track.

And then “Who Are You” mixes the menace of the Stooges with the backbeat rhythms of the British Beat Invasion groups, again the Beatles, but also Herman’s Hermits, early Kinks, and so on. It’s as if Ty can’t quite help himself in getting all this out but he holds it together, in fact he brings it together, quite brilliantly.

This is a superb, must-have album that places Ty Segall firmly at the centre of the garage scene and continues his extraordinary evolution as a multi-faceted, multi-talented musician. What he does next is anyone’s guess. If I had to bet, my money would be on him doing something completely different to this album, but whatever it is, you can be assured it will be quality.

9

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image