Ty Segall

(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Ty Segall (2008), 6/10
Horn the Unicorn (2008), 5.5/10
Lemons (2009), 5/10
Reverse Shark Attack (2009), 6/10
Melted (2010)., 6.5/10
Goodbye Bread (2011), 5.5/10
Hair (2012), 5/10
Slaughterhouse (2012), 7/10
Twins (2012), 6.5/10
Gemini (2013), 4/10
Sleeper (2013), 4/10
Manipulator (2014), 6/10
Emotional Mugger (2016), 5/10
Ty Segall (2017), 5/10
Freedom's Goblin (2018), 6/10
Joy (2018), 3/10
Fudge Sandwich (2018), 3/10
Orange Rainbow (2018), 3/10
First Taste (2019), 4/10

San Francisco-based Ty Segall, after playing on the Epsilons' albums Epsilons (Retard Disco, 2006) and Killed `Em Deader `N a Six Card Poker Hand (Retard Disco, 2006), devoted his solo (truly "solo") career to lo-fi rock'n'roll. Ty Segall (Castle Face, 2008) contains demented imitations of Merseybeat ditties (Go Home) and grotesquedly distorted garage anthems (best the minuscule Pretty Baby) but also a lot of trivial songs. The rebellious rant of The Drag and the Little Richard-ian shout of Don't Do It demonstrate his vocal skills. His guitar skills are non-existent.

Horn the Unicorn (Wizard Mountain, 2008) and Lemons (Goner Records, 2009) had already lost whatever edge and bite the first album displayed. The songs are not amateurish: they are insignificant. These two albums sound like inferior leftovers of the first one. It is telling that the best piece is the instrumental Untitled #2.

Reverse Shark Attack (2009) was a collaboration with Mikal Cronin, and Segall's most ferocious work yet.

Thankfully, Melted (Goner Records, 2010) returned to a much heavier (and acid) sound with Finger, My Sunshine, Mike D's Coke, Imaginary Person and especially Girlfriend (possibly his catchiest tune yet). There is precious little that is original or entertaining about his revisions of the Sixties, but at least the verve is back.

An existential spleen permeated Goodbye Bread (Drag City, 2011), with emotional kammerspiel like My Head Explodes. Some of the songs feel a bit too calculated (You Make The Sun Fry) although they might be the most durable of the batch.

Perhaps the best introduction to Segall was the anthology Singles 2007-2010 (Goner, 2011, 2011) that assembled classics such as Sweets, Caesar, Where We Go, It and Cents, as well as covers and demos.

Hair (2012) was a collaboration with White Fence (Tim Presley). In general, this feels like Segall's most psychedelic album, or at least the one that gets inspiration the most from the early psychedelic ditties of the mid Sixties. In a sense, it feels like a lost Bevis Frond demo. Songs such as Scissor People and Time display a bit more personality, but they are still way too mild to be taken seriously.

Slaughterhouse (In The Red, 2012) was a full-band record that brought him back to pure noise and mayhem worthy of MC5 and Stooges. The songs range from rabid (Death, That's the Bag I'm In, Fuzz War) to hysterical (Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart), to poppy (I Bought My Eyes) and to over the top (Wave Goodbye, Slaughterhouse). The "take no prisoners" strategy of this album sounds a lot more interesting than the vaguely derivative and nostalgic tributes of the previous albums.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Alessio)

Ty Segall, con base a San Francisco, ha dedicato la sua carriera solista(davvero “solista”) ad un rock’n’roll lo-fi. Ty Segall (Castle Face, 2008) contiene imitazioni demenziali di canzonette alla Merseybeat (Go Home) e grotteschi inni garage distorti(il migliore è il minuscolo Pretty Baby) , ma anche alcune canzoni triviali. Il rantolo ribelle di The Drag e lo shout alla Little Richard di Don't Do It dimostrano le sue destrezze vocali, mentre  quelle della chitarra non esistono.

Horn the Unicorn (Wizard Mountain, 2008) e Lemons (Goner Records, 2009) hanno semplicemente perso qualsiasi linea, “bruciando” ciò che si era visto nel primo album. Le canzoni non sono amatoriali: sono insignificanti. Questi due album sembrano gli inferiori rimasugli del primo. Si può dire che il pezzo migliore è lo strumentale Untitled #2.

Reverse Shark Attack (2009) è stata una collaborazione con Mikal Cronin, e rimane il più feroce lavoro di Segall.

Fortunatamente, Melted (Goner Records, 2010) ritorna a un suono più pesante (e acido) con Finger, My Sunshine, Mike D's Coke, Imaginary Person e in particolare Girlfriend(forse il suo pezzo più accattivante).C’è ancora molto poco della sua originale e divertente revisione dei Sessanta, ma almeno è tornata la verve.

Goodbye Bread (Drag City, 2011) è permeato da un malessere esistenziale,  con il kammerspiel emozionale di My Head Explodes. Si sente un pò troppo calcolo in alcune canzoni (You Make The Sun Fry)  anche se potrebbero essere le più durature del lotto.

Forse la miglior introduzione a Segall è l’antologia  Singles 2007-2010 (Goner, 2011) che assembla classici come Sweets, Caesar, Where We Go, It e Cents,  oltre a cover e demo.

Hair (2012) è stata una collaborazione con White Fence (Tim Presley). In generale, suona come l’album più psichedelico di Segall, o al massimo quello che più si ispira alle prime canzonette psichedeliche di metà Sessanta. In questo senso sembra un demo perduto di Bevis Frond. Canzoni come Scissor People e Time mostrano un pò più di personalità, ma sono ancora troppo leggere per essere considerate seriamente.

Slaughterhouse (In The Red, 2012) è stato registrato da una band al completo e lo riporta al puro rumore e alla confusione degni di MC5 e Stooges. Le canzoni spaziano dal rabbioso (Death, That's the Bag I'm In, Fuzz War, I Bought My Eyes) all’isterico (Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart) fino all’eccesso (Wave Goodbye, Slaughterhouse). La strategia del “non fare prigionieri” di quest’album suona molto più interessante dei  vaghi tributi derivativi e nostalgici delle prove precedenti.

Twins (Drag City, 2012), the third Segall album in one year, boasts the frenzied psychedelic The Hill, the slow monster riff Ghost, and the squalid Ramones-style romp You're The Doctor, but is weighed down by too many lapses into a languid Beatles-ain mood (Thank God For Sinners, Inside Your Heart). Never ashamed of mining old-fashioned power-pop (Would You Be My Love) and capable of taming even the bravest punks (Love Fuzz sounds like a shy, soul-infected version of the Stooges), Segall cunningly walks a fine line between the gutters and the mainstream.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Carmine De Matteis)

Twins (Drag City, 2012), Il terzo album di Segall in un anno, sfoggia il frenesismo psichedelico di The Hill, il lento e mostruoso riff di Ghost, e lo squallido schiamazzo Ramones-sco  You're The Doctor, ma è alleggerito da fin troppe incursioni in languide atmosfere Beatlesiane (Thank God For SinnersInside Your Heart). Giammai imbarazzato di andare a scavare a piene mani nel power-pop d’annata  (Would You Be My Love) ed in grado di addomesticare anche I punk più rabbiosi (Love Fuzz sembra una versione timida e accorata di un pezzo degli Stooges), Segall vive furbescamente in bilico fra le fogne e il mainstream.

Gemini (2013) contains alternative takes of the songs recorded for Twins. Sleeper (2013) abandoned psych-rock for simple and gentle folk music.

Segall also formed the stoner-rock trio Fuzz, documented on Fuzz (In The Red, 2013), with the single Sleigh Ride, and Fuzz II (In The Red, 2015).

The 17-song Manipulator (2014) is a good compendium of his art because it samples all of his role models and inspirations: T. Rex (The Faker), Lou Reed (Stick Around), Rolling Stones (Green Belly). punk-rock (Feel), psych-pop (The Clock), Merseybeat (Susie Thumb), etc. It is, however, ten songs too long.

The double-LP $ingle$ (Drag City, 2014) collects rarities. Ty Rex (Goner Records, 2015) is a collection of T.Rex covers. The four-song EP Mr Face (Famous Class, 2015) contains Drug Mugger.

Emotional Mugger (2016) contains generic fodder like Squealer, Mandy Cream and Breakfast Eggs, as well as a cover of the Equals' Diversion, next to two little gems, The Magazine and Candy Sam.

Ty Segall (2017), recorded in a day with Steve Albini, contains one of his best T-Rex imitation, Break A Guitar, and the jazzy 12-minute Freedom.

The sprawling double-LP Freedom's Goblin (2018) contains the usual dose of generic dejavu, like Fanny Dog and The Last Waltz, with nods to soul (My Lady's on Fire), plus the riot-grrrl punk-rock anthem Meaning, the T.Rex imitation du jour (The Main Pretender), and the cover du jour (Hot Chocolate's 1978 disco jam Every 1's A Winner). Within months he also released a mediocre collaboration with White Fence, Joy (2018), a collection of covers, Fudge Sandwich (2018) an album with the GOGGS, Pre Strike Sweep (2018), the cassette Orange Rainbow (2018), distributed during his art show in Los Angeles, as well as an EP under the moniker CIA (a collaboration with his wife Denee).

First Taste (2019) closed the decade with keyboard-driven songs like Taste, no guitar and exotic string instruments.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2010 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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