Wild Mercury Sound
The Ty Segall Band: "Slaughterhouse"
One swift month ago, I wrote a blog about Ty Segall and White Fence’s excellent Hair album, repeating a story that Segall had another couple of albums in the pipeline. Well, one has already turned up; but before we get there, perhaps check this astounding live clip of Segall, Tim ‘White Fence’ Presley, Mikal Cronin et al going for it on “Scissor People”:
If you’ve only heard Segall’s relatively calm “Goodbye Bread” album from last year, the psychedelic intensity of “Scissor People” might come as a bit of a shock. This, though, is the stuff he’s best at, as “Melted”, quite a lot of his singles comp and this year’s output testifies. “Slaughterhouse”, the new one due June on In The Red, is credited to The Ty Segall Band (of which the excellent Cronin is a key member; let me plug his self-titled solo debut from last year once again). The hunger for white noise is so great this time out that the final track, “Fuzz War”, is ten minutes of unadulterated racket.
Chances are, though, that you’ll be focusing on the ten superb tracks that precede it: nuggety psych-punk freak-outs that distinguish themselves from so much of the garage underground not just by their fervid speed, but also the hotwired virtuosity of the band and the gleaming melodies that Segall implants in the midst of it all.
A first track, “Wave Goodbye”, has just been leaked…
… and while it’s pretty great – not for the first time, Segall reminds me of Kurt Cobain circa “Bleach” – the relative sloth of “Wave Goodbye” isn’t quite preparation for the rest of “Slaughterhouse”; though the jam at the end is some indication.
Songs like “The Tongue” and “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart”, instead, capture Segall and his band’s way of channelling his encyclopaedic knowledge of ‘60s beat into raw ramalam: at points, they sound, like the early Beatles given a vigorous and in some ways deranged makeover. There’s garage rock gold throughout, climaxing after a fashion with the quartet laying waste to Captain Beefheart’s “Diddy Wah Diddy”.
“Alright, here we go: extra fast,” instructs Segall at the start, then “Fuck this fucking song!” as it starts to disintegrate around him. “I don’t know what we’re doing!” he laughs at the death. “Rewind it, let’s go again.” God knows what the next take sounded like, but it hardly matters. Like the whole album, it’s definitely a keeper.
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