Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse

Rating: ★★★☆☆

It’s been an extremely busy couple of years for Ty Segall; he’s fronted his own project, joined up with White Fence and now he’s got an effort with the Ty Segall Band—it’s gotta be hard to keep all of that straight.  That being said, over-working yourself can often lead to mistakes, and while I am not saying those exist, I do feel like something is amiss on this effort.

Coming into “Death” you want to see just how tight the Ty Segall Band can be, and rest assured, he’s got the right group surrounding him here.  While the song begins with distorted feedback, it jumps into Ty seemingly chanting before an onslaught of guitars explode ferociously.  Personally, I feel that the instrumentation out-performs the vocals, as so often happens throughout Slaughterhouse.  However, I feel like “I Bought My Eyes” is the most traditional Ty Segall effort on the record, capturing the live sound of the band, yet still holding onto Segall’s vocals as the band pummels your ears.

From there, the record seems to go off into a furious live album, which is both good and bad.  “Slaughterhouse” brings images of a frenetic live show, with Ty and his man Mikal Cronin banging out the tunes furious and loud.  Then you get “Tongue,” which does have a bit of that traditional Segall bounce to it, but again, the vocals get a bit obscured as the band seems to turn up the noise.  Therein lays the problem with Slaughterhouse: it’s an album with the markings of Ty Segall all over it, but the final production value isn’t as polished as the work he’s done in the past.

I get that one man can’t repeat himself too much, but as a long time fan I sort of get the impression that Ty Segall Band is meant to capture the live sound of Ty, with more of a nod going to the performance than to the actual songwriting. “Muscle Man” has that angular distorted guitar chug that I love, but the sound of the track itself seems sort of muddy; I just ask for a bit of cleaning up.  “That’s the Bag I’m In” follows that up with a sort of childishness that’s none-too-pleasant. It’s forceful in delivery, yet it beats you over the head with Ty’s vocal performance; it’s probably one of the worst performances I’ve heard from him to date.

Slaughterhouse is an excellent listen if you want to picture what Ty Segall Band sounds like in the live setting.  It’s heavy and heartfelt, but it doesn’t quite emphasize the songwriting licks that made Ty stand out in the past few releases. That’s always been his dynamic though, right? He’s a great songwriter in the studio, and a brash performer on the stage.  I dig both, but I just don’t think I can spin this album as much as I could spin Goodbye Bread or Melted.  Just one man’s opinion.


Download:Ty Segall Band – I Bought My Eyes [MP3]

Ty Segall – Goodbye Bread

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Admittedly, I was worried when I first heard that Ty Segall was going to take his ramshackle approach to California garage-pop and slow it down a notch or two.  Now that I’ve given Goodbye Bread a thorough fifty times over, I’m still a bit at odds with his new approach, though there are gems thrown about that really get to me.  In the end, I like this record, and only months of non-consecutive playing will truly indicate my feelings as to the longevity of his newest record for Drag City.

“Goodbye Bread” is actually a solid opening track, and one that immediately states the purpose of the album.  You’ll get Segall’s hazy croon, accompanied by minimal guitar for the most part, but it does pick up a bit, which makes this effort pretty solid, though longtime fans will surely wish more time was spent on carrying out the latter half of the track itself.  Like the opener, the lead single from Goodbye Bread, “You Make the Sun Fry” has this slow burning quality that definitely will appeal to fans of a grittier guitar sound, but perhaps this is where the execution of the record seems to sort of fall off for Ty, as the heavier moments seem sort of like after thoughts for him, especially when you look back over the course of his work.

There are songs on the record that illustrate a different approach for Ty Segall, and one that sounds remarkably refreshing.  If you take a listen to “I Can’t Feel It,” you can hear a more pristine guitar sound lurking in the background.  Pacing on this track doesn’t really fall off, or fly into the typical Segall approach.  It’s a wonder why he didn’t just completely go off course and write more songs like this, as it’s definitely a gem of a track.  It’s weird, but the noisier tracks on Goodbye Bread, such as the monotonous stomping of “California Commercial” don’t seem nearly as strong as the finer tracks on Melted, but the one-two punch at the end of the album makes everything worth it, and should restore every listener’s faith in Segall as a writer.

“I Am With You” begins the closing statement here, and it should be noted that it’s probably the most interesting, in regards to Ty’s approach on writing this bunch of tunes, as there’s switches in pacing, almost hurrying at times; there are also various changes in the overall dynamic of the song, even as he goes off into his ghoulish howl near the end. And, then you have the album closer, “Fine,” which serves as almost a infomercial on the ability of Segall to actually sing; he does a fairly decent job, at least to my ears.  Perhaps it kind of struggles to end, but in the end, I think its going to be one of those songs I’ll come back to time and time again.

Depending upon your interest in Ty Segall, you’ll probably land in various places with your own final consensus.  At times, it seems like he’s stuck in the middle of the road, unable to commit one way or the other to a certain style.  But, as the album draws to a close, you can see him hitting that proverbial stride, and those songs definitely benefit.  Goodbye Bread makes for an enjoyable listen through and through, just not sure where it fits in Ty’s catalogue, or where he’ll go from here. Until then.


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

Ty Segall on Daytrotter

We’re in love with Ty Segall, in case you didn’t know.  We’ve caught him several times this year on tour, and included his latest, Melted, in our Top Albums of 2010. Over the brief little break from the music world, we missed Ty’s recordings for the wonderful Daytrotter site. The session includes a slew of unreleased tracks, so fans of Ty will definitely be into this.  If you’re not already a fan, it will give you a chance to see Ty at his most raw, as he definitely lets loose several times throughout the session.  Personally, my favorite is the smoother “Who Are You,” which comes as the last song of the recording.  You can check out the rest of Ty’s set at Daytrotter.


Download: Ty Segall – Who Are You [MP3]

Show Preview: Ty Segall @ the Mohawk (10/1)

Date Friday, October 1st
Location Mohawk – Inside
Doors 1000 pm
Tickets $8 at the Door

In case you haven’t been able to make some of the super-memorable shows this week, a la Pavement or GBV, you have a chance to make up for that by attending Ty Segall on Friday night.  I caught the dude a few months back, and I’m super excited he’s coming back through town.  His new record Melted is a huge progression, and it definitely has me loving his every move.  You’ll want to go check him out, and you’ll also get a chance to see The Golden Boys and Pure Ecstacy in the mix on the evening too. Don’t miss it; you’ll be glad you went.


Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]

Ty Segall @ Emos (8/7)

Date Saturday, August 7th
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $8 from TicketWeb

This has already been one crazy week for shows, and we’ve got another excellent show lined up for you Saturday night, at least for those on the heavier side of things.  Ty Segall is coming to town in support of his new record , Melted, which came out awhile back.  It’s destined to be a glorious night of fast paced punk rock with a solid line-up backing up Ty while he’s in town.  Not only will you get to see Ty unleash some fury, but you’ll also get to see Royal Baths, The Hex Dispensers, Charlie and the Moonhearts, and A Giant Dog.  Looks like a great night to skip the heat and catch these great acts in the cool Emos indoor air.


Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [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.


Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]

Chaos n’ Tejas Preview: Ty Segall

As the Chaos in Tejas festival comes into Austin this Wednesday, its high time we take a closer look at our heavier, faster brethren. Our first suggestion for your ears is the garage rock wunderkind Ty Segall.  He’s having a busy year already, producing the 7″ for Brilliant Colors, then he’s got his own album Melted which hits stores next week.  Such a busy schedule might lead one to think of the recently vacated spot left by Jay Reatard (RIP) wherein he dominated (like it or not) the garage rock scene across the web.  Ty’s next in line, and in fact, has already sort of taken over.  You can check Ty out this Thursday, May 27th at Red 7.  Here’s a tune from his new album as well, in case you need more convincing.


Download: Ty Segall – Caesar

New Tunes from Ty Segall

Everyone needs a little bit of garage rock in their life right?  And now that I’ve (we’ve) lost Jay Reatard (RIP), I’m hoping that Ty Segall can keep me pumped.  It looks like he’s on the right track with his latest 7″, which will also include a song from his upcoming album, Melted (hits stores on May 25th).  You’ve gotta love the simplicity of this song, and in that, its need to rock you.  Keep your eyes on this one kids.


Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]