Release Date: Jun 21, 2011
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Punk
Before Ty Segall recorded "Girlfriend", a gem from last year's Melted, he channeled sounds we don't normally associate with humans. Through polluted streams of distorted guitar, you could hear him convulse, spitting wordless sounds as a bubblegum drumbeat took hold. It was evil, it was scary, and it sounded like demons were controlling his organs and limbs.
It was at the infamous Beerland in Austin during SXSW 2011 when I last saw Ty Segall live. Sweaty and cramped, the crowd ate up Segall’s set; it was the musical equivalent of a stranded swimmer thrashing against the waves for dear life. He was a one man wrecking crew, sucking in the crowd with the kind of intensity one might expect from the perennially-labeled “next one” of garage punk.
Ty Segall returns this time around with Goodbye Bread, a respectable spread of garage-y head-nodders and punky fuzz blasts. On tracks like “I Can’t Feel It,” Segall spreads out a bit, melding his knife-glint guitar shine with weary harmonies that begin to approach bleary-eyed pop damage. That guitar is really the lifeblood of Segall’s art, and he wields it well, only barely controlling the pent-up magic that spews forth.
Goodbye Bread is an album that unfolds almost imperceptibly. But by the time the eighth track, “Where Your Head Goes” comes along, you will almost certainly have noticed that the mood has evolved from the inward-looking lo-fi of the opening title track and into something darker, more full-bodied and electric. This sonic diversity isn’t a new thing for Ty Segall, but the way that Goodbye Bread reveals itself shows a marked increase in thoughtfulness when compared to the San Francisco psychedelic songwriter’s previous five albums.
Garage rock exists in a state of constant revival. Forty years from now, we may be 3D-printing shit directly from our minds, but based on our culture’s trajectory over the past half-century, it’s a safe wager we’ll still be listening to shaggy-fringed bastards with axes bestatic’d yelp over sloppy-edged drums. We can cure cancer or build a car that runs on water, but we’ll never shake the feeling that this town’s gotten too goddamned uptight for its own good.
Following the hallucinogenic frenzy of his 2010 album, Melted, Goodbye Bread is the sound of Ty Segall mellowing out just a bit; this is a significantly calmer and more measured set of music than most of Segall's previous efforts, not to mention one that's tighter and more coherent. While much of Segall's work has been informed by his lo-fi guitar and drum bashing, Goodbye Bread represents a cautious step toward greater professionalism, with the needles not constantly pushed into the red and the melodies sounding a bit more straightforward while the accompaniment stays in sync with Segall most of the time. Segall has cleaned up the details on Goodbye Bread, yet the fundamentals are essentially the same; the slightly bluesy lope of the melodies is very much of a piece with Segall's work on Lemons, and though the guitar attack is tidier, he's still willing to go into fuzzbox freakout mode on a few tunes, such as "Where Your Head Goes" and "My Headplodes," where he shows his inner freak rocker hasn't gone away.
TY SEGALL plays the Garrison tonight (Thursday, June 16), midnight, See Garrison listing and hits Wrongbar Friday (June 17), 1 am, See Wrongbar listing as part of NXNE. Rating: NNN San Francisco psych rocker Ty Segall warned us that he'd be dialling back the garage rock aggression on Goodbye Bread, and sure enough, the album features some of his slowest and most melodic songs yet. There are still be plenty of sputtering fuzz-drenched leads, but overall, it's more an album for the bedroom than the mosh pit, which may disappoint as many fans as it pleases.
Before diving into Goodbye Bread, Ty Segall’s latest creation, I spent some time catching up on the great Debate Series under the Music Features here on No Ripcord. Do We Need Rock N’ Roll? was the topic up for discussion and I felt it an appropriate read since Melted, Segall’s LP released in 2010, apparently provided some rock and roll catharsis with hits like Caesar and Girlfriend. Agreeing with commentary on both sides of the spectrum, I read on while listening to some favorites from the past and present: The Kinks, Ramones, and a little Tame Impala on the side.
Goodbye Bread, Ty Segall’s newest album, is the San Francisco garage-rocker’s fifth album since he began his solo career in 2008, but it is anything but rushed. Rather, the album has a surprisingly natural and easy feel to it, especially when compared to his usual rough sound. The opening title track sets off a slow beat and airy mood that signal that this album is going to show a side of Segall that his previous garage-rock records would lead you to believe doesn’t exist.
Cranky, clanky, lo-fi business from the Sic Alps member on his latest solo album. Martin Longley 2011 The 23-year-old multi-instrumentalist Ty Segall is emerging as one of the most prolific artists on the San Francisco scene. Or should that be promiscuous, given the number of outfits he's dallied with, the best-known being Sic Alps? Lately, Segall has settled down into being his own virtual one-man band solo act.