Release Date: Apr 24, 2012
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia
At the frontline of California’s buzzing garage renaissance stand Ty Segall and Tim Presley of White Fence, both fresh off two of last year’s most stirring albums in Goodbye Bread and Is Growing Faith, respectively. Should we all perish before 2012 is through, these guys won’t be fading away by damn sight. Their unholy powers combined, they give us Hair, a raucous, psychedelic guitar skirmish that transcends descriptions of its creators’ individual works.
Ty Segall and White FenceHair[Drag City; 2012]By Colin Joyce; April 26, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetIt’s amazing to me that more outlets haven’t posted with incredulity about the combined output Ty Segall and White Fence have planned for 2012. Between the two of them, five full-length albums will be released across a time period of less than twelve months. Five albums.
Garage-rock's secret recipe has always been one part loving memory to two parts imperfect recall. The best stuff misremembers what it enshrines, producing a jarring little chamber of echoes that plays upon beloved memories while confusing them-- I love this song/wait, is this how this song goes? Ty Segall and White Fence's Tim Presley are masters of garage-rock's indirection game; their collaborative album, Hair, is an absorbing, bleary maze of detours and red herrings. To hear them steer their demented little dune buggy through rock history is not unlike partaking in the American history lessons that Abe Simpson pieced together "mostly through sugar packets": All the familiar players are here, but they're acting funny.
TY SEGALL & WHITE FENCE play Horseshoe on May 12. See listing. Rating: NNNN Ty Segall sounded more restrained on his last record, the mellow (for him) Goodbye Bread. On his latest, he's taken another departure by hooking up with like-minded psychedelic soul spirit White Fence (aka sometimes Darker My Love/Strange Boys guitarist Tim Presley), and the result is an uninhibited slice of Nuggets-style garage pop that's an absolute blast.
San Franciscan wunderkind Ty Segall follows the kind of prolific tendencies of his 2010s neo-garage punk crew (Thee Oh Sees, Kurt Vile, Sic Alps) by churning out droves of insanely catchy tunes and albums of reverb-drowned bubblegum melodies and updated psychedelia. In a post-Jay Reatard world, the bar has been set high for both quality and volume of output in garage rock circles. Segall has met these high marks, with increasing clarity and personality with each subsequent release, taking a turn away from hi-octane punk blitz with 2011's relatively subdued album Goodbye Bread.
San Francisco-based Ty Segall is a garage-rock revivalist turned psych-punk cadet with a penchant for altering his [i]nom de plume[/i] when the wind changes; White Fence meanwhile are the distorted pop project of Timothy Presley of Darker My Love and an occasional member of Strange Boys. Together, and with the help of ’Cisco fuzz-pop linchpin Mikael Cronin, they’ve turned out a collection which displays a fondness for vintage ’60s psych (dig these song titles: ‘Easy Ryder’ and ‘(I Can’t) Get Around You’) and the spooky microdot-pop of Thee Oh Sees. There’s a lot more where this came from, too.[i]Chris Parkin[/i] .
Prolific songwriter Ty Segall and Californian rock/art collective White Fence are far from shy about their influences on this bold, brief (30-minute) outing. There's a change of pace halfway through the slow, George Harrison-esque opener "Time" and thereafter the blueprint is 1960s garage and psychedelia, right down to the chord changes. Clattering drums, wigged-out guitar and vintage reverb abound, and the back half of the punky "Scissor People" splices into a groove that could be early Mothers of Invention.
Ty Segall is one of those figures thrown up by American underground rock with unerring regularity – the kind of man who records with scores of different bands, as a solo act, and as a collaborator, resulting in a discography slightly less confusing than Finnegan's Wake. Hair sees him bringing together various different strands of garage and psychedelia, often sounding like something from the point in early 1967 when singers of previously snotty punk bands stopped snarling and started smiling beatifically. There's still a thrilling energy about it – Scissor People races the listener to its guitar hook, and Crybaby, with its gargling and gurgling vocal intro, could be a cousin to one of those early-60s novelty frat-rock records – but there's an expansiveness, too, to tracks such as Time, as Segall embraces the bleached, haunted psychedelia that followed the summer of love.
Bad news first: This isn’t Ty Segall’s best release to date. Oh, but, good news: He’s got another one coming in a couple months, and will probably continue producing at about that rate until we all stop caring about him—probably not even then. Until that point, we’ve got Hair, a glorious mess of an album Segall co-wrote with White Fence (a.k.a.
Ty Segall is a psych-rock punk from the Bay Area. White Fence is the equally psych-heavy side project of Darker My Love’s Tim Presley. When they announced in early February that they’d be working on a collaborative album, they instantly became their scene’s version of Kanye West and Jay-Z’s The Throne (Watch the Bean Bag Chair, anyone?). But unlike the rap impresario’s slightly disappointing joint record, the eight-track Hair is a truly worthwhile example of teamwork, and an important, albeit understated, milestone in both Segall and Presley’s careers.
In the press prior to the release of Hair, Ty Segall was clear to make sure this project was taken on its own merits, as neither a follow up to either artists’ previous work. Ty Segall & White Fence would be an on-going song-writing collaboration between himself and Tim Presley (from White Fence), each bringing their own songs to the record(s) as well as concoctions from their collective cache. It’s an amalgamation of sounds and spirits that emanate from the annuls of rock and roll history, citing influences from The Kinks’ underground simplicity; Syd Barrett style expressionism and The Beatles’ psychedelia.
As Ty Segall and Tim Presley of White Fence (amongst others, including Strange Boys and Darker My Love) release more and more music, inching closer and closer towards being labeled as full-on workaholics, a strange paradox has begun to emerge within their music evidenced on Hair, their recent collaboration LP: Segall and Presley are becoming more focused. When word of these two San Francisco pals teaming up to release a psych-heavy full-length hit the blogs, many assumed Hair was going to be an opportunity for these two to let their freak flag fly, so to speak. Hair had the makings of a record that would allow Segall and Presley to let loose all the strange sonic trips they’d held back on.
If it sounds a little underwhelming to say that Hair pretty much sounds like what you would expect a collaboration between broadly similar garage rockers Ty Segall and White Fence to sound like, let me assure you that it's also what you would probably want and hope it to sound like. Rather than coming together to spur each other into brand new and potentially ill advised territories (an outcome which wouldn't have been entirely surprising considering Segall's attempts to branch out on his slightly dialled down 2011 LP) the two artists instead spend half an hour playing to their pre-established strengths – staying in their comfort zones, and riding the fun, sloppy, rockin' sound to its effortlessly entertaining destination. A question to anyone who plays a rock and roll instrument: have you ever been introduced to someone at a party who also plays a rock and roll instrument, and they suggest that you 'should jam sometime'? Hair sounds like this awkward social invitation gone brilliantly right.
When considering the prolific songwriter that Ty Segall is, one must simply look at his body of work. Diversifying into different outfits, working with various musicians, and continuously releasing music in between months has led to a varied color of music. And needless to say, Segall has continued to impress and improve with every consistently strong release.
If your speakers aren’t peaking when you listen to “Scissor People,” the penultimate track on Ty Segall and White Fence‘s Hair, you’re obviously doing something wrong.That’s not to say you can’t enjoy the album if noise isn’t your jam. It’s easy to slip the first official collab between SoCal garage-rock royalty Segall and former Strange Boy Tim Presley’s White Fence side gig into the growing idiom of retro-rock revivalism. But there’s something going on here that’s rawer than the Danger Mouse-produced blooze beats of the Black Keys, more mussed than the carefully cataclysmic arrangements of East Coast basement-shakers like the Men and Screaming Females.
The duo discovers depth in the often two-dimensional world of garage revivalism. Alex Denney 2012 Even by the hit-and-run standards of the scene that spawned him, Ty Segall isn’t one to hang around. Since being discovered by Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer thwacking drums for a local band with his arm in plaster, the 25-year-old Californian has busied himself crafting an approach to garage rock that’s roughly the inverse of Black Lips’ cartoon goonery, loosing an avalanche of material in the process.