New Slow Jam from Ty Segall

I’ve raved about Ty Segall for quite some time, and many assumed he would take the place of dearly departed Jay Reatard.  All signs pointed to this, that is until recently when he began to mention a slower approach to his songwriting on the his new record.  Goodbye Bread will be out June 21st, and it will be his first for Drag City.  This first single from the album shows exactly what Ty promised, using a more drawn out garage sound, similar to the slew of T. Rex covers he tossed out not to long ago.  This track’s all well and good, but we’ll have to wait for the jury to return when the whole collection of songs hits the streets this summer. Give a listen to a less rambunctious Ty below.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Ty-Segall-You-Make-the-Sun-Fry.mp3]

Download: Ty Segall – You Make the Sun Fry [MP3]

Mind Spiders – s/t

Rating: ★★★★☆

From the instant you press play on your stereo, to the moment in which its final notes resound, Mind Spiders refuse to stop. In that miniscule pregnant pause before the guttural guitar resounds through your speakers, take a breather, because you’ll need all your strength to keep up with their punk pace.

“Go!” is the album opener and does exactly what its title exclaims. It’s an almost two minute scramble of garage rock and gang vocals that pack a hell of a punch into a tiny slice of time. Before you know it, the first track is gone and the second is about to pass you by. On “Don’t Let Her Go,” it is easy to see a similar sound to that of the late and great Jay Reatard. The muddy vocals and frantic jamming guitar along with the shortness of the number all are reminiscent of Jay’s work on Watch Me Fall, namely “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me.”

However, this album is not simply a copy cat of other’s work, but rather, a culmination of tastes from a variety of genres; a little bit of 60’s pop here, some lo-fi there, and a dash of some all out punk. For instance, on “Read Your Mind,” the group starts out slow, with slightly clearer vocals and soft waves of “ooohs,” that occupy the first minute and twenty or so seconds. It’s almost as if the band wants you to relax a bit after the first three songs before they jump right back into their ferocity. The vocals become muddier as the song morphs from slow-mover into punk once more.

The next super stand out track is “No Romance,” which is sadly the shortest song on the album. It continues the quick pace, but not without grabbing your attention through a sea of compact jams. Following this is a lo-fied nod to Little Richard on “Slippin’ and Slidin.’” On this track, the overall distorted sound contributes to enticing quality; the more I listen to this song, the more I like it.

What this album has working for it in addition to its stellar beats is that Mind Spiders know their limits. While only four out of twelve of the songs last longer than three minutes apiece, it works for such a fast paced album. If every song were to last for slightly longer than it does, this album could have derailed from its hasty tracks. Instead, it was a toe tapper from start to finish.

So you as you look at the stereo in disbelief that track twelve is becoming track once again, do nothing. Allow this album to permeate the surrounding air like a gust of cold air into a stuffy room, waking you up like an icy shower —lather, rinse, repeat Mind Spiders.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/No_Romance.mp3]

Download: Mind Spiders – No Romance [MP3]

Wavves – King of the Beach

Rating: ★★★½☆

Remember when Wavves frontman Nathan Williams broke down in Spain?  We all expected the worst from that point on, but sometimes good things will rise out of the pit of despair.  This is precisely the case with King of the Beach, the newest album from the group, which now includes members of Jay Reatard.  It’s a much more confident Williams, and in that state of mind, his songs benefit greatly.

As soon as “King of the Beach” kicks in with it’s clattering drums and Williams vocals, you can see this band is on an entirely new path.  Production value has actually been placed into the recording, giving the vocals room to actually be successful.  There’s a summery bounce to the track, and the best part is, it sort of erases the feeling of lo-fi.  Who really wants to be pigeon-holed anyways?  Certainly not this Nathan Williams.

Sonic surprises abound in this record, though that might not necessarily apply to the drum section, which does show a bit of redundancy.  But, take “Linus Spacehead,” which features a bit of “oohs” throughout, in a nice little warm pitch to boot.  Throw that in the bag with “When Will You Come” and you have a couple of tracks that show Wavves are more than just that one trick pony.  The latter track is so gentle, and something about the vocals in the pseudo-chorus is really effective.  You shouldn’t be scared of this, however, if you were a long time fan of the group, as King of the Beach still has similar stylings to offer you, just with a different twist.

“Take on the World” has that traditional jangle pop, though the calmness in the song, rather than the spastic energy is what makes this far more successful than many of the tracks on Wavvves.  You’ll also find a little bit of the lo-fi tendency in “Mickey Mouse,” which probably isn’t the strongest song on the collection, but it does show that Williams isn’t likely to stray too far off from his roots altogether.  Tie it all together with a nice bow of “Post Acid,” the quick paced lightning bolt of jangling rhythm and pounding drums, and you have a more powerful version of the band formerly known as Wavves.

It’s great to see a lot of the progression from the band, indicating that in the future, we might expect even more powerful tracks, with cleverer hooks.  “Baby Say Goodbye” is probably as close to a pop track as you’d expect to associate with Williams and his entourage, but including it shows that the whole group is pushing their boundaries.  In the future, you never know what you’ll get with this bunch of rabble-rousers, but one thing you get from King of the Beach is that Wavves is actually maturing, growing their sound right before our eyes.  If they can toss in tracks like “Green Eyes,” a personal favorite of mine, then there is no saying how far this group will go from here on out.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/09-Green-Eyes.mp3]

Download: Wavves – Green Eyes [MP3]

Ty Segall – Melted

Rating: ★★★★☆

Garage rock has made quite a resurgence in the last several years, and it’s been enforced, or heralded, by one torch bearer or another.  In the resurgence era we had King Khan, Jay Reatard and now we’ve got Ty Segall.  His new album Melted, on Goner Records, is just a dirty rocking party fueled by catchy choruses and pounding rhythms, so let’s get to it.

Ty has a style all his own, and its first apparent when he opens the album with “Finger,” just slowly strumming and lightly howling for a few extra bars.  Then the garage rock power fuzz kicks in.  There’s nothing clean about the sound on this track, and yet there doesn’t need to be, as Segall’s changing vocal delivery powers us through, right into “Ceasar.”  Bobbing bass lines bounce you through this number, as the percussion sort of bangs away haphazardly. Beneath the grit here lies Segall’s ability to carry melody, which he treats you to about midway through the track.

Melted doesn’t just pound away at your ears graciously, as the band can add a little bit of a jangle and swing to their numbers.  “Sad Fuzz” allows room for the vocals to sort of place around, and yet the chorus provides listeners with the impression of a young man slinging his guitar about, which you’re likely to catch live. Album closer “Alone” also demonstrates Ty Segall stepping outside of the scuzzy barroom brawl, doing his best to pull every bit of melody out of his words as possible.  While it might seem like a it of a drone, it definitely accomplishes its goal, closing the record with an appropriate breather.

Soft points aside, make no mistake that this album is stocked full of straight ahead power and energy, of that disastrous sort. After getting lost in the meandering feedback of “Imaginary Person” your caught up immediately in a bouncing number that powers along, much in the way Jay Reatard did prior to his death.  It’s the arena that brings about the best in Segall, combining his interest in modern garage rock with his desire to provide a little bit of a hook for the audience.  This is perhaps one of the best numbers on the album, almost bringing about the inner Danzig in the singer.  And you can’t ignore the forceful “My Sunshine,” which bangs around with remnants of late 60s garage.  Nothing on this track sounds clean: not the vocals, not the drums, not the guitar.  All the while, you’re tapping your feet, waiting to see what’s coming next, only to be side-swiped by a nice little guitar solo to end the song.

Ty Segall is keeping himself busy right about now, working on his own stuff and recording the works of others.  One would think that this wouldn’t leave time for much creativity, but rest assured, there is nothing boring about Melted. It’s loud and boisterous when it wants to be, and it can be a little bit gentle in spots.  Such a combination packs the perfect amount of punch, and just racks up another successful record from Ty.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Caesar.mp3]

Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]

RIP Jay Reatard

jayreatardI’ve been following this on Twitter all afternoon, but I’ve seen it confirmed in several locations, so I’m going to express my sadness for the passing of Jay Lindsey of Jay Reatard. Those who know me, know I love his music, and I posted about him any chance I had.  It really is a sad day.   Thanks for the tunes Jay, may you find peace in the hereafter.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/jay-reatard-it-aint-gonna-save-me.mp3]

2009 Top 50 Albums

bestof2009cover_albums

Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

Jay Reatard @ Emos (12/9)

jayreatard

Date Wednesday, December 9th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $10 from TicketWeb

Jay Reatard is making his triumphant return to Austin on Wednesday night at Emos, with local band Harlem.  You’re guaranteed to love every bit of the music, but I recommend you bring along a set of earplugs because the last time Jay came through town, my ears rang for three days from the volume of his live set.  He’s going to play fast and loud, and you’re going to enjoy every minute of it.  Oh, and if you make it out to the show, let me know how the new line-up sounds.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/jay-reatard-it-aint-gonna-save-me.mp3]

Download: Jay Reatard – It Aint Gonna Save Me [MP3]

Jay Reatard – Watch Me Fall

watchRating: ★★★★½

Jay Reatard, the supposed bad boy of garage rock, returns this year with his new album, Watch Me Fall. Unlike his last few releases, these are sets of new songs, which show a similarly new side to the band.  While Bloodvisions was fueled by a sense of madness and fury, here we find a more subdued effort; it shows that Jay Reatard is more than just a one trick pony, and the group is destined to go beyond the stereotypical garage sounds.

When the record opens with “It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” we meet the same Jay Lindsey we’ve known for years.  Energized and blasting his guitar licks as quickly as he can, speeding furiously towards the end of the song. Oddly, it’s one of the few songs of this set that offers us a glimpse at the garage-punk element of Jay Reatard, as the rest of the record seems to veer into the realms of garage-tinged power-pop.

“Before I Was Caught” is a rime example of the new direction, and let’s say it, the softer side, of the band.  Sure, the guitar is still chugging along, but it’s not done with the same intensity as it’s been done in the past, which isn’t a bad thing in the least bit. Sure, the high-pitched yelp of Lindsey comes into play here, but his delivery outside of the chorus demonstrates a more relaxed approach to songwriting.

Coming across a song like “Can’t Do It Anymore” yet again portrays a poppier world for the group, even with the excruciating feedback in the midst of the song, the overall tone of the song is a bit more uplifting, though the lyrics might not portray the exact same sentiment.  You can pile this on to the chorus of “Faking It,” which again shows a Lindsey who isn’t screaming with force in the face of his listeners.  Finally, we’re presented with a likable attitude, one that is more endearing to a multitude of listeners in contrast to the band as of a short bit ago.

We even find ourselves visiting the land of balladry in this collection of songs.  “I’m Watching You” is a perfect gem of power-pop goodness, and although there is some sonic exploration as guitars meaner mid-song, it still encompasses an overwhelming feeling of a strong ballad. You can place such moments right alongside the album’s closer, “A Whisper (There is No Sun).”  It’s probably one of the most accessible songs in the Jay Reatard collection to this point, and despite partially indecipherable lyrics, you still can gather the emotion from this song.

To sum it all up, we have a new band here, or almost.  There’s a bit of calling out, there’s a bit of remorse, but overall, there is a shift in the direction of the songwriting, ultimately making the album much more rewarding to listeners than anything that has preceded the group.  Watch Me Fall is a gem of power-pop stirred inside a garage smoothie, and surely worthy of accolades and adoration.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/12-there-is-no-sun.mp3]

Download: Jay Reatard – A Whisper (There is No Sun) [MP3]

Tenth Anniversary Jay Reatard Post

jayThat’s right, against the odds of the other office members of ATH, I have opted for my tenth post on Jay Reatard. If only he could give me some money for that, right?  Well, I’m bringing you this one in support of his new album, Watch Me Fall, on Matador Records this August (the fifth).  So here’s “Wounded.” It’s good. Dig it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/jay_reatard_wounded.mp3]

Download: Jay Reatard – Wounded [MP3]

New Tunes from Jay Reatard

jayrulesIt doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we love Jay Reatard. RayRay has posted about him numerous times, and we even rocked out to his eardrum busting show last year at Red 7. Now, news comes our way that Matador Records will be releasing his new album, Watch Me Fall, on August 18th.  Here’s to you Jay, and future coverage.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/jay-reatard-it-aint-gonna-save-me.mp3]

Download: Jay Reatard – It Aint Gonna Save Me [MP3]

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