TY SEGALL SELF TITLED ALBUM REVIEW
On June 8, 1987 a man was born. Who, you ask? A man named Ty Segall. Loved by all, a deity to most - truly a legend. The modern day Rock’ N’ Roll Prometheus. In 2008 he released his first solo album: Ty Segall, while still great, the sound was fairly generic garage rock. His next two records, Lemons and the incredible Melted were still garage-y, but more transitional towards his next venture. 2011’s Goodbye Bread was by far his most thought out release. Less reliant on banging out gnarly chord progressions and more focused on song craft: his first album to feature quieter moments and honest to god guitar solos. Think Marc Bolan. 2014 comes and so enters MANIPULATOR. This record transcends everything garage rock is supposed to be. Written over a 14 month period, this double record is jam packed with everything under the sun. A loose concept album, it tells the story of a girl named Susie Thumb who leaves home to follow a rock star called the Crawler. Soaring solos and string sections abound, filling over the top compositions. Ziggy Stardust meets 70’s Stooges.
All of the aforementioned releases led up to 2017’s Ty Segall (that’s TWO self titled albums, guaranteed to confuse your iTunes library). His most recent album came out on January 27th, and is a smorgasbord of everything he has done up to this point. It’s got your rockers, your rollers, your ride-out-of-controllers, and also showcases a much softer side; some songs even have both! Maybe tied with Manipulator, Ty Segall could be The Man Man’s most sonically diverse record yet.
Opener “Break A Guitar” rips and rattles, hot and heavy for the 4 minutes of time it occupies. Second track “Freedom” sounds like it could have been cut from the same cloth as Manipulator…but next is when things take an unexpected turn. “Freedom” transitions directly into “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)”, a TEN minute (his longest song to date) opus. After spending some time in familiar waters, the song veers off course into jazzier territory with the lengthy mid-section instrumental. Suddenly a drum roll kicks in and the song positively EXPLODES back into a refrain of Freedom’s chorus. The result is cathartic, and possibly one of the greatest musical moments in recent history. Side 1 ends with the country twang of “Talkin” an ode to self-obsessions.
Side 2 opens with heavy rocker “The Only One” and keeps up the momentum with “Thank You Mr. K”, whose only break in speed is to include the sound of a toilet being smashed…music to speed to, man. After this, it’s all smooth sailing, The electrics are turned down from 11 and out come the acoustics. “Orange Color Queen” is a beautiful, albeit surrealist love song to Ty’s apparent wife, Denee. “Papers” almost sounds like it was taken from a musical of some sort, and is a song about organization. “Take Care to Comb Your Hair” starts off like a lullaby and gradually gets thicker. The record ends with a 4 second song that solely consists of a guitar chord played twice. It may not be Ty Segall’s greatest release, but it has no bad songs on it. This is an album you certainly do not want to miss. Ty Segall forever.
by JARED HARRISON