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]