Hey hey, my my...rock and roll can never die.
I like dark beer, music banter, books and creative people willing to take risks. I believe in the past and feel most at home while far from home. In '93 i heard CSNY's "Ohio" and it knocked the wind out of me. It was like someone poured a bottle of Jack down my throat. I was tingly all over. Since then it would be Neil Young, and a plethora of others, whose path i would forever choose to follow. This is a sanctuary for true art and roots music; if you like techno and club music, date a glow stick.
Thank God for Ty Segall. The San Fran triple threat (singer/guitarist/drummer) makes records in his sleep. This year alone, he’s released Slaughterhouse with his band, Hair (a collaboration with White Fence) and most recently, Twins. Along with four solo albums and a singles compilation, Segall sets the bar high and his contemporaries have noticed. “I love that shit,” said Portugal.the Man bassist Zach Carothers, “I like the more heavy stuff he does.” On Twins, Segall yanks the seams of 60’s psychedelia, heavy garage rock and sews in a patch of punk panache, beautifully distorted in all the right places. He not only stands at the forefront of 60’s psych/rock/grunge revival, but intrepidly adds new meaning to album behavior, shoving into one disc what other musicians tend to eschew. Pay attention. This one’s got “Best Albums of 2012” written all over it.
Immediately, we are hit heavy, where unbridled guitars pierce through and make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, a common result throughout the album. Twins covers plenty of ground relentlessly; it’s rebellious (“Thank God for Sinners”), gets grungy (“Handglams”), and provides a common denominator for generations of rock fans (“The Hill”). On the latter, Segall’s vocals espouse a John Lennon a-la “Tomorrow Never Knows" with Thee Oh See’s darling, Brigid Dawson adding backup. “Would You Be My Love,” is pure sugared pop romance, a bit reminiscent of the Wonders in the film “That Thing You Do,” showcasing Segall’s sweeter side. The rest of the tracks dive into a mix match of jam-heavy, pysch-spitting rock ‘n’ roll that fails to follow any guidebook, “I want to throw people off,” he admits. Vocally, Segall makes you lean, be it his sympathetic croon, screaming eagle, or flirtatious falsetto. Fans of Portugal.the Man will easily gravitate towards the glossy high-pitched vocals of “Love Fuzz.” Lastly, “There Is No Tomorrow” seizes the day with a pair of optimistic eyes Segall was so lucky to have been born with.
With plenty of material in his backlog, Segall is able to dig in a number of pockets, and never come out empty-handed. On stage, his free-for-all madness is a terrifying jolt of life. For validity, watch his recent appearance on “Late Night with David Letterman. ” Earlier this Fall, Segall played two packed-out shows in Brooklyn; after a solid European tour under his belt, expect Webster Hall to sell out well in advance of its scheduled February 1st slot. Across his discography, Segall proves that, no matter which genre he settles in, he sounds as though he’s been there all along. With San Francisco precision, he cuts a thick slab of rock, jagged in all the right places and Twins isnothing short of extraordinary.
MELISSA CARUSO via Elmore Magazine.
Listen to Twins in it’s entirety here.