Always on a tear, Ty Segall has a new self-titled record out. Segall’s tireless stream of releases means he and his rotating gaggle of shred-heads never linger too long on any one strain of blissed out fuzz rock. Ty has set aside the freaky drooling baby persona from last year’s Emotional Mugger and returned to the rich, persisting influence of his main muse, T. Rex. But Ty Segall 2017 sounds more like a consolidation of the artist’s many sonic excursions than a mere return to form, incorporating “heavier than thou” riffs as well as catchy, glammed out melodies and woozy psychedelia of yore. Ty has developed and refined his craft over the course of his voluminous discography, but at all points in his career, it seems that he has prioritized a live-wire, frenetic energy in his songwriting, recording and live performance.
Engineered by Steve Albini, Ty Segall is a band-in-a-room affair, stacked with seasoned Ty cronies such as OG OC collaborator Mikal Cronin on bass, Ben Boye on keys, and Charles Moothart swapping the guitar for the drum kit. Much of this LP’s heat comes from Emmett Kelley, a deft lead guitarist and harmony singer who twins with Ty in an immensely satisfying fashion. The dueling guitar solo in “Freedom” is akin to feeling your eyes float away in different directions after sprouting a nosebleed. It’s a ripper of a song that spills into the album’s one bold stroke: the 10 minute long “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned).” The illusion of freedom is obtusely pondered, shattered, shamed… if there is a genius to Ty’s words it is that they are limber garments for the explosive being of passion muscling his high-octane sound. When he intones lines with that quavering, Bolanesque vibrato, they cling to creamy, sustained guitar lines to barrel right past the head and into the gut. “Papers,” a more subdued acoustic caper, reflects on the everyday image of notes he sticks on his wall: “Yes, the papers depend on tape/ So they do not fall, they do not fall.” The sentiment is endearing, recalling Harry Nilsson’s “My Old Desk” or Donovan’s “I Love My Shirt.” But most endearing is the way Ty wraps up the track, letting you know what he’s in it for: “there’s blood on my ride/ take me back there/ take me home.” words / a spoto