Ty Segall has made whole records that wrestle with
realities—fighting against some, pulling mightily to bring others
into being. Of late, he’s thrown up his hands and donned clown
shoes, dancing merrily in the dual role of oppressed/oppressor!
His hands aren’t any more or less dirty than anyone else’s—but
amidst the thunder and the chaos of the ongoing storm, he’s
looking for the eye within.
The new self-titled record—the next record after Emotional
Mugger, Manipulator, Sleeper, Twins, Goodbye Bread, Melted,
Lemons, and the first self-titled album that started it up in the nowdistant
year of 2008—is a clean flow, a wash of transparency
falling into a world that needs to see a few things through clearly,
to their logical end. It’s got some of the most lobe-blasting
neckwork since the Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse (from way
back in the long, hot summer of 2012), but it also features a steep
flight of fluent acoustic settings, as Ty’s new songs range around
in their search for freedom without exorcism, flying the dark colors
high up the pole in an act of simple self-reclamation. All he wants
is some truth!
The construction and destruction of his chosen realities has, until
now, been a luxury Ty has rightfully reserved for himself, striping
overdubs together to form the sound—but for this new album, he
entered a studio backed by a full band—Emmett Kelly, Mikal
Cronin, Charles Moothart and Ben Boye—to get a read
on this so-called clarity. This leads to a new departure in group
sound, as well as some of the most visceral and penetrating vocal
passages yet heard from Ty Segall.
“Freedom/Warm Hands” puts the “sweet” back into suite; “Orange
Color Queen” is a supreme moment of tenderness; “Talkin’,” a
roots-infused truth-attack. “Papers,” looks behind the doors of
Ty’s process; “Break A Guitar” is a brutal fun-fest pitched to the
back of the house. Ty Segall keeps you guessing, bracing your
skin with a welcome astringency, seeking to stem the bleeding
with chunks and splashes of guitar, tight beats, audio-verité toilet
smashes, a Wurlitzer electric piano in a jam, blazing harmonies,
and LOTS of songs to sing. There’s no concept beyond that;
finding the right places to be is a momentary thing. Ty Segall is
the sum of his songs—and about getting the free. The free to be!