Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Drag City
On his third LP of 2012, the garage-rock prodigy and burgeoning cult hero rearranges Nuggets and Nirvana echoes into moderately memorable tunes with scant help from other musicians. He obscures weedily muffled lyric snatches under waterlogged guitar fuzz that builds into a thick wash and varies the formula with hippie-commune harmonies, space-alien dirges, acid-folk jangles – all with a precision that belies his surface amateurism. Listen to "The Hill": .
Being prolific in any field can be a sign of a furtive, inquisitive, restless spirit. Keen to push the boundaries, always striving to test oneself or, in Ty Segall’s case, his audience as well. Equally it could be a sign of a lack of quality control, just throwing stuff out there, no sense of direction or plan, a reckless abandon about what it is you are presenting and what it says about you.
You only need to look at this year’s Mercury Prize nominations or the number of brilliant and diverse albums released in the month of September alone to realise music in 2012 is in rude health. The problem is that we’re still playing it safe. What’s been dubbed ‘The New Boring’ (oh hey, Emeli Sandé and Ed Sheeran) still dominates the radio, possibly because the bands creating innovative and interesting music are hidden away under a massive lack of personality.
Ty SegallTwins[Drag City; 2012]By David Wolfson; October 9, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetIt should go without saying that Ty Segall has been having quite the year. His combined studio output and touring schedule have been nothing short of prodigious, so let’s do a quick recap. Coming off of his excellent 2011 LP, Goodbye Bread, which saw him strip back, slow down, and expose his songwriting more nakedly than ever before; Ty’s first effort of 2012 was a collaboration.
For perfectly encapsulating California’s leisurely late afternoon sound, San Francisco’s fuzz-rock wonderboy Ty Segall may very well be somewhat of a workaholic. This year alone, Segall has released three varied albums, each a varying shade of Segall’s paisley-stained personality, at once whimsical, sneering and lustful. The woozy collaborative album Hair with LA’s Tim Presley, the ominous space-rock release Slaughterhouse as a Ty Segall Band and now a solo album, Twins, Ty Segall is expanding the boundaries of the sounds from the garage.
Ty Segall has released just about a million albums but Twins could be his best yet. Here, the prolific West Coaster goes a different direction, favoring dark, Sabbath-era guitars and filtering every song through a pedal called the “Fuzz War.” As can be imagined, Twins is a little heavy but Segall mixes that sturm und drang with some light touches and a healthy dose of jangly psychedelia. Amidst the fuzz and noise, Segall has turned out a raucous blitz of an album that deserves your play, if it doesn’t break your speakers first.
Last year Ty Segall released his Drag City debut, Goodbye Bread, an album that showed a more songwriterly side to the garage rock wunderkind. It was less bratty and less caustic than anything he’d done, showing that Segall didn’t have to push everything past the red into the white-hot in order to be heard. It looked as if this kid had settled down; the downside was that the songs got stuck in mid-tempo gear.
If 2012 ends up being considered the year that blistering, uncompromising rock music took hold of the independent music scene by force, then Ty Segall will be remembered as the fearless general that led it to victory. Whether he’s tearing up the local clubs of San Francisco or sparking riotous behavior on a morning news show (WGN Morning News in Chicago, to be exact), Ty Segall proves that he doesn’t just play rock n’ roll, he embodies it with every fuzzed out riff he can muster. In an age where the term “rock and roll” can hardly be used without some sort of ironic undertone, it seems like the perfect time for someone to reclaim its dignity.
Ty Segall is in an odd position. The San Francisco garage-rocker has always been prolific, but after four years of albums, collaborations, singles, and covers, his discography has become particularly unwieldy. His output from the past year alone has been diverse. On Slaughterhouse (and on stage), he's an impish, thrashing apostle of hardcore and 1970s hard rock.
Quite often San Franciscan longhair Ty Segall can sound like a fledgling Nirvana playing a Beatles song in a nearby toilet. At other times he sounds like Iggy and the Stooges, but high on sunshine. This prolific fuzz-rock guitarist may just be one of American rock's best kept secrets – if that secret weren't open and available to all with an internet connection.
Bay area garage rock shapeshifter Ty Segall churned out more and more different types of songs in the four-year space between his 2008 beginnings and his fifth album, Twins, than most acts do in their entire lifespans. In between constant touring and seemingly endless split 7"s and compilation tracks, Segall managed to release two other collaborative full-lengths in 2012 leading up to this wholly solo affair but predicting yet another shift in his restless sound. From the start there's been a core of lo-fi garage basics intrinsic to Segall's constant output, with possessed guitars and often-times masked vocals terrorizing burly, bubblegum punk whose melodies have drawn ceaseless comparisons to the equally gnarled work of deceased powerhouse songwriter Jay Reatard.
Search any decent record store for any remotely genre-transcending record and it quickly becomes apparent that it's almost anachronistic that record shops still categorise music so rigidly by genre, a practice that surely should have gone out of the window the moment The Beatles' Revolver hit the stands. Take San Francisco's Ty Segall for example: throughout his career Segall has been pigeonholed as a garage rock artist, no matter how stylistically varied his output may continue to be. .
Approaching 2012 as if it truly was the end of days, Ty Segall’s torrential pace the past ten months has placed the Bay Area garage rocker in an interesting position. After last year’s terrific solo record Goodbye Bread –his most approachable and commercially successful record to date – this year’s torrent of music has positioned Twins entirely apart from his previous work. In the same way that The Weeknd, Of Montreal and other artists who never temper their release schedules become lumped into this idea of “what have you done for me lately,” Ty Segall has in a lot of ways reset his entire career in 2012.
I was raised in a time when bands and musicians would take, on average, anywhere from two to seven years to release an album. No, I don’t have any statistical data to show you, but I do remember assuming that once you had heard a band’s new album, you’d be waiting at least a full year’s time before you’d hear another. Probably some sort of a resulting industry timeline; maybe it’s a general cycle of the muse — who knows.
The most welcome things to note about Twins – Ty Segall’s third(!) full length release of the year – is that it in no way feels extraneous. We can start playing the > ranking games among ourselves a little later if you wish – and, admittedly, it would seem fair to say that this feels like more of a victory lap to Segall’s year, rather than its shattering climax – but the surprising fact of the matter is simple and to me inarguable: three LPs into the year, Segall hasn’t yet outstayed his welcome, and still has more pleasure to offer. The fact that Twins is the only Segall release of the year to be attributed solely to ‘Ty Segall’ without credited collaborators might lead you to think that this LP is the one which Segall throws himself into most fully, or the one which he wants to stand as the definitive statement of his creative output at the close of an insanely prolific year.
In the wake of Jay Reatard’s death in 2010, Ty Segall has picked up his mantle as rock’s foremost jack of all trades, unleashing torrents of snotty, solo-heavy, metal-inflected punk. His third album this year, Twins, is far from his finest work, but it extends the progressive bent of his latest efforts, showcasing an artist who’s still obsessed with the intricacies of his electric guitar, but also interested in pushing it into new styles. The greatest difference between Segall and his late predecessor is that, while Reatard seemed content to toil away in the realm of two-minute run-and-gun assaults, Segall is intent on grafting the theatrical excess of heavy metal onto the slim skeleton of punk.
Ty Segall makes music like there's no tomorrow: urgently, and with both eyes on the past. Twins, like the four solo albums that have preceded it, and like the three other albums he has released this year (one band project, one collaboration, one singles compilation), takes 1960s psychedelia and garage by the scruffs of the neck and gives them a shake. It comes firing from the starting line in a squall of angrily buzzing guitars and lyrical sleaze (Thank God for Sinners), stuttered vocals and a fusillade of drums (You're the Doctor).
Steadfast and willingly able to further his craft, Ty Segall returns with his third album of 2012, Twins. His first and only album of the year as a solo artist, it follows Slaughterhouse’s smashing success and Hair’s brilliant chemistry with sounds that are reliably Segall’s. And thank goodness really, Segall has been one of music’s most consistent musicians in the past five years; fortunately for us, the skillful music comes at a relentless pace.
San Francisco songwriter’s latest LP is a rambunctious 35-minute blast. James Skinner 2012 Ty Segall is a hard man to keep up with. Over the last few years the young songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has assembled a discography that swings from lumbering psychedelia and exuberant glam to coruscating garage rock. Twins is his third LP of 2012, following Slaughterhouse and his White Fence collaboration, Hair.
Some artists have trouble releasing one album each year, let alone three, but 2012 has been the tour de force of album releases for garage rocker Ty Segall. Twins is Segall's third and final release of the year – fourth, if you include his singles compilation – and shows no signs of fatigue. Opening track "Thank God For Sinners" wastes no time picking up from where Slaughterhouse left off with a fury of guitars drench in reverb and Segall's voice bubbling to the surface.
If there’s one thing you should know about Ty Segall, it’s that he can write. Having already released two critically acclaimed LP’s this year, including Hair, the psychedelic rock collaboration with White Fence, and Slaughterhouse, a garage rock record with his touring band, the ambitious Bay Area songwriter has gone for the hat trick and released Twins, his third and final studio album of the year.With his well-documented affinity for genre mixing, it comes as no surprise that Ty Segall still enjoys playing audio scientist. Blurring the lines between punk and garage rock with psychedelic rock and pop, Twins is no exception to this obsession.