Among other things I’ve failed to blog about this year, it occurs to me I’ve been particluarly slack on the subject of garage rock. A quick attempt to make amends today, with three of my favourites, before I get round to putting together a 2010 chart of sorts.

Among other things I’ve failed to blog about this year, it occurs to me I’ve been particluarly slack on the subject of garage rock. A quick attempt to make amends today, with three of my favourites, before I get round to putting together a 2010 chart of sorts.



I’ve struggled a bit with previous Ty Segall releases I’ve come across, but his “Melted” album is terrific. Segall goes for the scuzzier, psychedelically damaged lo-fi end of the garage spectrum, and has strong connections with Sic Alps and Thee Oh Sees (the latter’s 2010 album “Warm Slime” is another good one, incidentally). If “Melted” reminds me of anyone, though (contemporary, I should say: “Sad Fuzz” is pretty intensively moptop, for a start), it’s Kurt Vile: fraught, dissolute, mischievous, and capable of some fierce tunes that cut like a knife through the racket.

In contrast, “Strychnine Dandelion” by The Parting Gifts is more orthodox, if no less spirited. When I alluded to this on a playlist blog a while back, I was justifiably reprimanded by one of the band for failing to mention her, so I should say this time that The Parting Gifts are a supergroup, of sorts, in this world, featuring as they do Coco Hames from The Ettes and Greg Cartwright from, among other things, The Reigning Sound, plus Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs, Greenhornes) and Dan Auerbach (Black Keys).

A lot to go on here, but plenty here would work well on the last great Reigning Sound album, especially when Cartwright takes the lead and hits that twanging southern garage soul vibe on the likes of “Hanna” and “My Baby Tonight”. The Spectorish stuff fronted by Ames is nice, too, though, especially a take on “Sleepy City”, a great bit of Stones marginalia.

The Fresh And Onlys’ “Play It Strange” is closer in vibe to Ty Segall, but there’s something janglier about them, a sense of West Coast classicism running through a bunch of these songs that makes the album worth filing near Darker My Love’s excellent “Alive As You Are” from earlier this year. Really nice, though somewhat in keeping with the band (and the scene they’re a part of) that they keep their best two 2010 songs, “Impending Doom” and “Double Vision” for an entirely separate seven-inch.