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
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Playlists

Rock 'n' Roll with Chinese Characteristics: Nirvana Behind the Great Wall

Like pretty much everywhere else in the pop music universe, China's developing rock scene changed after Nirvana. It's just that China's rockers didn't get the memo in 1991, nor would've known what to do with it, then.

Film

Creative Disruption in 'Portrait of a Lady on Fire'

Portrait of a Lady on Fire yearns to burn tyrannical gendered tradition to ash and remake it into something collaborative and egalitarian.

Music

Fave Five: The Naked and Famous

Following two members leaving the group in 2018, synthpop mavens the Naked and Famous are down to a duo for the first time ever and discuss the records they turned to help make their aptly-named fourth record, Recover.

Evan Sawdey
Books

Fleetwood Dissects the European Mindset in His Moody, Disturbing Thriller, 'A Young Fair God'

Hugh Fleetwood's difficult though absorbing A Young Fair God offers readers a look into the age-old world views that have established and perpetuated cultural rank and the social attitudes that continue to divide us wherever we may reside in the world.

Music

Art Feynman Creates Refreshing Worldbeat Pop on 'Half Price at 3:30'

On Half Price at 3:30, Art Feynman again proves himself adept at building colorful worlds from unexpected and well-placed aural flourishes.

Music

The Beths Are Sharp As Ever on 'Jump Rope Gazers'

New Zealand power-poppers the Beths return with a sophomore album that makes even the most senior indie-rock acts feel rudimentary by comparison.

Music

The Jayhawks Offer Us Some 'XOXO'

The Jayhawks offer 12-plus songs on XOXO to help listeners who may be alone and scared by reminding us that we are all alone together.

Music

Steve McDonald Remembers the Earliest Days of Redd Kross

Steve McDonald talks about the year that produced the first Redd Kross EP, an early eighth-grade graduation show with a then-unknown Black Flag, and a punk scene that welcomed and defined him.

Film

Nazis, Nostalgia, and Critique in Taika Waititi's 'Jojo Rabbit'

Arriving amidst the exhaustion of the past (21st century cultural stagnation), Waititi locates a new potential object for the nostalgic gaze with Jojo Rabbit: unpleasant and traumatic events themselves.

Television

Why I Did Not Watch 'Hamilton' on Disney+

Just as Disney's Frozen appeared to deliver a message of 21st century girl power, Hamilton hypnotizes audiences with its rhyming hymn to American exceptionalism.

Music

LA Popsters Paper Jackets Deliver a Message We Should Embrace (premiere + interview)

Two days before releasing their second album, LA-based pop-rock sextet Paper Jackets present a seemingly prescient music video that finds a way to ease your pain during these hard times.

Books

'Dancing After TEN' Graphic Memoir Will Move You

Art dances with loss in the moving double-memoir by comics artists Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber, Dancing After TEN.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.