The one-man music factory known as Ty Segall is back with yet another album. Fittingly, given his enormous discography that has spawned over 20 records in 9 years, solo album number ten is called Ty Segall. It is also the second eponymous-titled LP of the California garage rockers’ storied career. The first, released in 2008, was Segall introducing his frenetic garage-rock to the world. The latest iteration is simultaneously a summation of his career and a signal that he still has some new tricks up his sleeve.
The familiar frenetic, fiery, and quick epics are sprinkled throughout the album. For instance, the dizzying, home-wrecker of a single “Thank You Mr. K” is Emotional Mugger (Segall’s 2016 album) mixed with zany rock of The Kinks. “Freedom” feels like a 10-minute monster squeezed into a tight two minutes and seven seconds. This is the Segall most have come to embrace.
Speaking of epics, the 10-plus minute “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)” is just that. Don’t expect, however, the typical, sprawling hallmarks. The song is more like an EP, featuring no fewer than three different elements to represent Segall’s different and multiple sides. It is dark and feverish to begin before turning into an intense rocker. The song then cascades into a laid-back, bluesy rocker before accelerating again. If you had to introduce Segall with just one song, “Warm Hands” might be it.
The most surprising thing about Ty Segall is how retro sounding the album is. While Segall’s sound has been heavily influenced by the likes of Thee Oh Sees, The Rolling Stones, The Stooges, and others, his music still felt very much in the present if not omnipresent. Yet on songs like the blistering “Break A Guitar”, the smooth “Talkin'”, and the striking “Orange Color Queen”, there is a noticeable Brit-rock influence. In particular, Segall channels The Beatles and John Lennon on these tracks, and the latter two songs are unexpectedly intimate and engrossing. With “Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)”, Segall takes the intimacy even a step further, sharing a folk-rocker that sounds more like something out of the late Glenn Frey’s or James Taylor’s catalogue. This more controlled version of Segall is almost unrecognizable, yet it is most welcome.
Ty Segall, as such, feels like a transition album. It is a nod to the past in many ways while opening a number of doors for future endeavors. And what will Segall offer us later this year? Well, if Segall’s nine years and 20+ albums are any indication, we better be prepared for something unexpected. This is part of the Californian’s brilliance, which is captured masterfully on Segall, Jr.
Featured photo by Kyle Thomas.
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