Fergus and Geronimo – Unlearn

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Almost two years ago, I caught Fergus and Geronimo here in Austin; they were just visiting from Denton.  Everything they did on stage was energetic and sharp.  A few 7″s came our way, and now the band have released their debut, Unlearn, for Hardly Art.  After honing their chops, it seems like the band have finally landed on some consistency with their sound, and it’s one that fits in with the modern scene.

Kicking things off with “Girls with English Accents” is a solid way to start off this record.  It’s got a little bit of psychedelic twang in the guitar lines, a repeated chorus line, but it’s the verses that demonstrate my favorite parts of Fergus and Geronimo. They’re sort of off-kilter and unhinged, all done in a playful manner.  Then you move right into “Wanna Know What I Would Do,” which has great elements, yet doesn’t quite fulfill the promise the morning.  Really, it’s just one part that sort of gets me in a funk, and it’s the delivery of “hahahaha.”  Throw that in with some loose lyrical focus, and you can see that at times, great songs get in the way of the band’s playful approach.

Fans of the more R&B influenced garage sound will find a gem in “Powerful Lovin,” using that crooning sound you’ll find on King Khan and the BBQ Show releases.  At this point, you’re bound to appreciate the band’s tendency to sort of shift all over the place, using a great deal of musical diversity to provide a great deal of listening diversity.  “Unlearn” is similar in this fashion, though it introduces a bit of spoken word from a female counterpart.  Part of me is reminded of listening to my mother’s classics from the doo-wop era of classic rock, and that’s not a bad thing by any means, mind you.

Fergus and Geronimo‘s bread and butter though seems to be their more amphetamine influenced jams.  “Baby Don’t You Cry” fits perfectly in with the likes of Ty Segall or a dirtier version of Nobunny.  Beneath it all lives sweet bubblegum pop, but it’s coated in abundant energy, giving the sound a bit of garage stomp, almost as if the band is hanging on by the seat of their pants.  “The World Never Stops” is another such jam, though it does have a nice little instrumental breakdown in the middle that really takes the track to the next level.  Perhaps it is just a hint of restraint, but it’s enough to give Unlearn yet another nice twist in the grand scheme of things.

Fergus and Geronimo have shown a lot of promise through the release of their 7″ work, and through that of their live shows. Now that they’ve got Unlearn out here for the masses, we see that talent come to fruition.  Styles are traded in and out from the get go, letting you get a taste of the band’s influences.  Sure, it’s a bit disjointed at times, and next time around the band might put more effort into the lyrical development, but this is one hell of a start from a band we truly think will do excellent things.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Fergus-Geronimo-Girls-With-English-Accents.mp3]

Download: Fergus & Geronimo – Girls With English Accents [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.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/06-Who-Are-You_.mp3]

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Download: Ty Segall – Caesar [MP3]

1 5 6 7