Although he already has one self-titled album to his name, Ty Segall has reworked his sound yet again. With so many albums behind him, he’s due for a restatement, something he aims for with his latest record.
Given Segall’s strange and eclectic history with releases, a second self-titled LP shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Since his solo debut in 2008 with Ty Segall, the San Francisco singer-songwriter has released eight other studio albums on top of an immeasurable number of LPs, EPs and singles with a variety of bands. His discography surveys all of dirty rock, doing everything from acoustic tunes on Sleeper to heavy psych rock on his most recent release Emotional Mugger. This time, Segall takes a step back, surveying his influences and picking out the best of the bunch to create an all-encompassing self-titled project.
Fans who know Segall for his thrashing riffs and heavy distortion won’t be lost on this LP — it’s chock full of nearly everything people have come to expect. “The Only One” features dueling guitarists shredding like they’re playing co-op in Guitar Hero, “Orange Color Queen” takes the listener on a long and trippy tale down a river and “Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)” sounds like a modernized rock folk tale that a young Neil Young could
The tracks on this LP relentlessly challenge the listener by demanding them to accept a wide pallet of rock sounds. During its most ambitious song. “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned),” Segall barrels on a 10-minute ramble with his band, beginning with some of the whiniest power chords imaginable and eventually transforming into a spacious jam reminiscent of something The War on Drugs might create. Although this track is an odyssey within itself, it is truly a fully encompassing smorgasbord of Segall as an artist.
There’s an odd pop influence on this LP, one that occasionally permeates some of Segall’s work but usually only rears its ugly head on a song here or there. On Ty Segall, it finds its way into every song. Initially, this was a bit jarring, but after a couple of listens these pop synths and sounds blend well into Segall’s heavy rock, making it more welcoming for someone who may be new to Segall’s strange and often twisted
Segall has always been a bit immature for his talent, making him an anomaly in the indie-rock world. This aspect of his music is hardly noticeable on Ty Segall, though this exclusion may seem like a good thing, it comes at the loss of something that added to Segall’s distinctive sound. Segall’s previous work, Emotional Mugger, capitalized on his weird side, especially in his ridiculous promotional image centered around being a big baby, but this self-titled feels slightly refined at points, especially in its lead single “Break a Guitar” which exhibits a bit too much restraint in its production.
Ty Segall is at its core a sampler of Segall’s varied influences, making it an intriguing addition to his plethora of albums. If anyone is still looking for a way to get into Segall’s music, this will likely be the best chance. It blends garage and psychedelic rock with Segall’s signature noise and raw production, presenting everything we’ve come to expect from the rocker. And although there has always been opportunity for Segall to do something more, he’s proven time and time again he doesn’t need that to make an enjoyable album.