Wild Mercury Sound

Ty Segall & White Fence: "Hair"

Ty Segall & White Fence: "Hair"
John Mulvey

News from Phil King on the Jesus And Mary Chain tour in Texas, yesterday, that Ty Segall was due to support them at a show. A pretty cool gig, one would imagine, and a useful prompt to remind me to write something about the latest release from Segall, especially since he’s promising – and it would be rash to disbelieve him, given his fecundity in the past two or three years – another couple of albums in the next few months.

In fact, another single has already turned up – a split seven-inch with The Feeling Of Love, on the fine Permanent label – that suggests a second hefty singles comp will be on the way as well before too long. Digressions like this are an occupational hazard with Segall, compounded by the fact that “Hair” is a collaboration with White Fence – aka Tim Presley, also the frontman of Darker My Love, sometime associate of The Strange Boys, and no slacker himself in the productivity department (another White Fence album, “Family Perfume Number One”, arrived the other week, somewhat inevitably).

Quick recap of what I’ve written before about these guys, maybe: on Ty Segall’s “Melted”; White Fence’s “White Fence”; and something about Segall and Mikal Cronin, who also guests on “Hair” (and is finally playing the UK, including the Shacklewell Arms and the No Direction Home festival, in June).

“Hair”, anyway, is a predictably exciting, pleasingly focused set, livelier than Segall’s last one, “Goodbye Bread”, and substantially higher-fi than most of Presley’s solo output. You can trace a lot of their previous fetishes in these songs: Segall’s sardonic Lennonisms and his taste for Marc Bolan that was foregrounded on the superb “Ty Rex” EP (cf “Crybaby” especially); Presley’s assiduous and loving knowledge of whimsical English ‘60s pop (Donovan has possibly displaced Ray Davies and Syd Barrett in his affections).

All of this, though, is streamlined into a kind of psych-garage ramalam that seems far more exuberant than overtly scholarly. Great songs, too, and the odd hint of what these men may have been listening to when they were growing up: something of Nirvana, surely, to the outstanding “Easy Ryder”?

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