Release Date: Jun 26, 2012
Record label: In the Red Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
In this age of instant gratification and immediate access to almost anything you want, it can be highly frustrating to hear very little from the artist themselves. He releases records more often than he updates his official website blog, FACT; but (I imagine) when you resolve to release three albums in a year you’re fairly busy. Actually though, for Ty Segall, this could be considered somewhat of reduction in workload.
Nearly 40 years on from their initial, unceremonious flameout, the Stooges have been thoroughly absorbed and accepted into the pop-cultural mainstream in ways that would've seemed nigh unimaginable in the early 1970s. Beyond blazing the trail for punk and the subgenres that arose in its wake, their songs have been covered by stadium-rock giants, featured in videogames, successfully mashed-up with Salt N Pepa, soundtracked Kristen Stewart/Dakota Fanning make-out scenes in big-screen biopics, and used to sell Chryslers. But it's no coincidence that all of these middlebrow appropriations draw from the band's 1969 self-titled debut and 1973's Raw Power-- by Stooges standards, the albums you're most likely to reach for when entertaining house guests.
Ty Segall BandSlaughterhouse[In The Red Recordings; 2012]By Will Ryan; June 27, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetConversations surrounding Ty Segall often wander well-meaningly into the realm of reductive rockist posturing and retro-minded influence saddling. I'll admit, it is exciting to approach Segall's music with a time machine state of mind. Segall's influences range from the primordial muck of '50s rock'n'roll to the lost-in-the-wilderness noise excursions of the '00s with lavish stops everywhere in between.
Ty Segall has been a busy man over the last few months. With Slaughterhouse, we see the second of what’s expected to be three full-length album releases tied to the San Francisco-based garage rocker this year. (He released a collaboration album with White Fence in April and has plans to put out another solo album later this year.) Slaughterhouse, though, is Segall’s first full-length album with his touring band (collectively the Ty Segall Band) and first release on In the Red Records.
The music on Ty Segall's Slaughterhouse is compelling in the same way too much whiskey is: it riles up your appetite for getting loud and rowdy. This isn't an album for folding laundry or grilling zucchini; it's a soundtrack for driving too fast and throwing furniture out windows. Released through garage-rock emporium In the Red under the moniker Ty Segall Band, the album is the San Francisco musician's first studio release recorded with his touring ensemble.
Perhaps it’s meek to discuss Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors” in the context of Ty Segall’s latest LP, Slaughterhouse — or, maybe it’s just too obvious. Whatever the case, it feels necessary to stress every teenager’s favorite ideology that “destruction is a form of creation,” because if this suitcase of noise is anything to behold (and it is), it’s the idea that beating the shit out of an instrument has never sounded so enlightening. Over 11 tracks, the Bay Area player tickles the inner demon in all of us with melodic screams that exorcise multiple corpses of tangled guitar strings.
Ty Segall's music has grown progressively more sophisticated and better behaved since he left the Epsilons and struck out on his own in 2008, but anyone wondering what he might have sounded like if he'd gone in the opposite direction and gotten louder and more crazed with the passage of time gets to see this alternate reality come to life on the album Slaughterhouse. Opening with a long blast of feedback and electric guitar punishment before shifting into the full-on rock & roll assault of "Death," Slaughterhouse quickly announces its desire to bring the rock with no need for nuance, and while a careful listen reveals the pysch-leaning melodies that are Segall's bread and butter haven't gone missing, they take a back seat to great slabs of electric guitar noise and crashing drums, echoing as if this album had been recorded in Carlsbad Caverns, and this is a manic, speedy assault that's part punk, part garage rock, part metal, and all grand-scale distorted roar. Segall's vocals are mixed high enough to compete with the full-bore attack of the guitars and drums, but Slaughterhouse is credited to the Ty Segall Band for a reason; this music doubtless reflects his vision, but the final product is a group effort, and even on the poppiest and most cheerful numbers, Segall and his bandmates recall some crazed biker gang who have come to town to feed your children bad drugs and leave them deaf.
It’s been a pretty good couple of years for Ty Segall. The once under-the-radar garage-rock guru has stepped out into the light with a series of great releases. His decidedly poppier pysch record Goodbye Bread came out on Drag City last year to basically universal praise, followed by a collected singles compilation that let the world know what Segall had been up to in his lo-fi rock and roll cave for years, and then earlier this year Segall recorded Hair, a collaborative album with White Fence’s Tim Presley.
Ty Segall and White Fence have both released solo material this year aside from their excellent collaborative album Hair – an eight track doozy of fun, sloppy garage rock jams. White Fence's solo work took the form of not one but two bloated and ultimately underwhelming LPs made up of meandering, laid back, psych-Sixties pop recorded on four track. Ty Segall, on the other hand, more correctly recognised that the strengths of Hair were its bite and its brevity – two qualities which he doubles down with on Slaughterhouse (just look at that title) by recording with his touring band for the first time, creating a record which not only retains the spunk and fire of Hair but amplifies it; hard edged riffs and searing lead guitar blazing through half an hour of balls-out rock music.
In a year where Ty Segall has already devoted one prior release with White Fence and promises a solo effort in the fall, he opted to record an album of impressive noisy rock with his touring band. And instead of trying to make it seem as if Segall is channeling the Stooges, a la Funhouse, the house that Segall has created is yet another one down a steady stream of releases diehards have grown to love from the passionate musician. See, Segall makes music as someone that knows the validity of staying current and active, and while it’s taken a while for some to jump on the bandwagon, Slaughterhouse surely melts away any kind of lingering feelings in light of a darkly rollicking good time.
Ty Segall, bandleader, runs things a little differently than Ty Segall, solo artist. Give soloist Segall a guitar and the dude refuses to sit still—we know this from his staggering anthology of 20-something EP, LP, 45 and compilation releases since he took his own name in 2008. But give Ty Segall a whole band, as the universe graciously did for his recent national tour and Slaughterhouse, the second of three albums planned for 2012, and, well, you’d better hope the roof is reinforced.
Such is the ferocious work rate of Ty Segall that there's every chance that he's written and recorded a new album by the time you get to the end of this review. Indeed, so prodigious is his output – two albums out last year, collaborations with White Fence this year – that the chances of him completing a world tour just as the last word of this critique has been written remain frighteningly real. Yet given Segall's almost non-stop production ethic, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there must surely be a finite supply of a configuration of three chords, insanely catchy pop hooks, reverb-drenched vocals and scuzzy sounds that can only be achieved by outrageously fuzzy guitars fed through the sonic blender marked 'Neo-psychedelia'.
Ty Segall gets around. Since 2005, he's played drums and guitar for Epsilons, Party Fowl, the Traditional Fools, the Perverts and Sic Alps, collaborated with White Fence and Mikal Cronin, and released half-a-dozen solo albums while constantly touring. Indeed, Segall's barrage of fuzz and thrashy exuberance is road-tested and true. Slaughterhouse sees Segal take his touring band of Cronin, Charlie Moothart and Emily Rose Epstein into the studio, and the results surge with the crackling, raw power of their notorious live performances.
Dark, feverish garage rock as it’s meant to be played. Chris Parkin 2012 Psych-pop wünderkind Ty Segall likes to set his stall out early. The best-known member of ‘Cisco’s blossoming garage-punk scene (see also Mikal Cronin and Thee Oh Sees) released his first record of the year – a collaboration with White Fence called Hair – in April, and then promptly promised two more before the year’s end.