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]

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