Ty Segall – Twins
I signed off my review of Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse earlier this year with a metaphor about how many of their ideas work considering how quickly they are written and performed. This applies to the tossed-off performances of that record and across Ty’s prolific output this year and the last few.
Twins is the third record baring his name from 2012 and the true follow-up to 2011’s Goodbye Bread. Less concerned with covering rock’s quiet-loud history, the album focuses on various modes of dense, fuzzy guitars under Beatlesque melodies, while Ty is tied with Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker in terms of who sounds the most like Lennon.
As a solo effort (as opposed to the Band or White Fence collaborations) Twins feels more like the work of one guy in a studio writing and coming up with sounds for songs than Hair or Slaughterhouse, but the cleaner guitar tone and steadier production doesn’t mean Ty had enough time to get overly reflective and perfectionist about the record.
It’s true that every album is a snapshot of where he finds himself at that particular time and even though we’re sonically some distance from the scrappy, anaemic affair of early releases Lemons and Ty Segall, and production values have risen, Twins is still Revolver b-sides above Pet Sounds.
‘Thank God for the Sinners’ and ‘You’re the Doctor’ tap into the more playfully unhinged side of the album. Ty’s lunacy isn’t approaching his takes on the last album but they form the teeth of Twins. ‘Would You Be My Love’ is the stuttering-heart cousin of ‘Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart’ and, as this weak analogy grinds to a halt, ‘Handglams’ is the sunken knuckles in the fist that failed to enter the house through the brick wall.
There is never a point on Twins that you’re that far from a hook, a fuzzy riff or a version of Lennon that never existed. It’s instantly appealing and the first or second listen might be the best. Making such retrospective music groundbreaking is never going to be easy but making it exciting again is doable. And even though Slaughterhouse got a lot of mileage from its breakneck intensity, a characteristic Twins does not depend on, Ty still has a gift for getting inside garage rock and making it convincing.
Some of the new arrangements, the female vocals on ‘The Hill’ for example, will be met with mixed reception, but overall Twins boasts the most consistently melodic set of tracks Ty has recorded and his new found emphasis on psychedelia fits like a glove that also happens to be tie-dye. A tie-dye glove. Remember those?
It would have been great even if it was the only record he’d put out since Goodbye Bread, but as the third in a year all those gushing adjectives about how he continually spits out solid records ring true. The light experimentation on Twins points to the rewards that could be reaped if he sat on an idea for a year or so and let it develop into something bigger. Familiarity works (and the riffs and hooks are really familiar) and Twins‘ progressive elements fall within a small strand of experimentation beginning in the mid-60s, though it’s the same kind of urgency that’s been constant across his discography that keeps it from ever feeling like too much of a throwback.
So in light of another Ty Segall record reinvigorating another shade of rock ‘n roll like it’s nothing, like it’s easy, I’m going to revise my closing statement in the Slaughterhouse review: The Ferrari that I said he would definitely land on he if was to jump off a building? Right, now it’s not parked, it’s moving and it’s leading a motorcade. And everyone behind it is fucked.
More Ty? Here’s SKRBBLR’s video of his Manchester gig earlier this year.