San Fran garage-punker (and former one man bander) Ty Segall pens crackling classic-sounding rock'n'roll tunes about as lean and economical as they come, pushing his rangy shoutalong hooks so far forward there's rarely room for pesky little details like verses. Although he's thrown quite a few more colors into his instrumental palette in recent years, he's still mostly working way out in the red, leaving nuance to others. Melted, his latest, boasts a 30-minute runtime that feels closer to 15.
Someone must have dropped some acid into Ty Segall's lo-fi garage rock beverage, since his third solo effort, Melted, sounds noticeably noisier, trippier, and more damaged than his previous efforts. Segall's feel for a simple, sturdy melody hasn't escaped him, but the tunes often drift in and out of clouds of sound effects, percussive jams, guitar feedback, or keyboard drones, and a warm layer of pushed-to-the-red distortion surrounds most of the drums and instrumental tracks. The result isn't quite face-melting, but it certainly hits harder and with more lysergic force than Segall's first two post-Epsilons efforts, though that's not to say the man has lost touch with his sense of dynamics; "Bees" is a midtempo number that generates a quiet intensity around Segall's slurred vocal, and "Caesar" is an engagingly hooky pop song delivered with a commendable swagger.
Whenever distorted vocals and fuzzed-out jangly guitars enter the picture, a knee-jerk Nuggets reference typically follows. But for Ty Segall, this reference point hardly seems sufficient to describe his music. He releases albums and singles in quick succession, a catalog that thus far shows real progression, a point of view being formed, and an artist taking more risks and incorporating a wider range of influences into the mix.
I remember hearing about the passing of Jay Reatard and being entirely confused. I still recall sitting in front of my computer, probably getting ready to write a review, and reading the news headlines. I couldn’t believe that, here was a musician whom I had most recently bought an album of, and he was gone. I immediately forgot about everything I needed to do and played his music non-stop.