Ty Segall - Twins
On Twins, Ty Segall creates garage rock imbued with the sound and spirit of the 60's; he harnesses the visceral sound of The Stooges with the vocal and melodic leanings of the darker side of John Lennon. Another thing that he takes from this era is his work rate; Twins is his third album of the year, after releasing Hair with White Fence, and the brilliant Slaughterhouse with his touring band. Of course proficiency is only a positive if what you release is good, and Twins stands not only as his third album of 2012, but his third great album of 2012.
The album art which recalls Johnny Depp's twisted face on the cover of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a fitting encapsulation of the music and lyrical themes of the album. Segall's own brand of heavy and often psychedelic garage rock provides the backdrop to recurring themes of mental disorder. We see it on speedy highlight 'You're the Doctor', where the crazed repeated chorus of "There's a problem in my brain" is interspersed by Segall's squealing tremolo and feedback infused solo, straight from the Neil Young school of guitar freak-out, and the perfect musical manifestation of this lyrical disorder. Elsewhere, on 'Inside your Heart', Segall asks "Oh Doctor tell me please, is it living inside of me? It was alive, when it climbed inside," which makes the song sound like an ode to that scene in Alien, but really seems to be about love.
Themes of doctors and mental unrest have long been tools used to talk about issues such as love, and drugs, but whether this deranged persona is just that, a persona, matters none, because the darker lyrical themes only serves to make the music more thrilling - and Segall revels in it, after all he knows that "There's a problem in my brain" is a better chorus than "I don't know what to do." Another highlight is the Stooges-indebted 'Handglams', which begins with a picked chord sequence, explodes into the sludgy main riff, before returning to the verse as Segall goes falsetto, exuding a crazed swagger, but still with a glint in his eye.
It's not all golden, 'Love Fuzz' suffers from repetition, and 'There Is No Tomorrow' doesn't quite nail the nihilistic finale, but it is hard to care when the ease with which Segall seems to be able to craft perfect 3 minute rock songs, and the joy that he clearly takes in doing so, is so contagious that one forgives any slight missteps - and not only because this is the third album he has given us this year. Segall is exactly the sort of musician that we need more of, and Twins marks a dedicated student becoming a master, and having a blast in the process.
If you ask any music fan that possesses even the slightest bit of knowledge on the garage rock scene in San Francisco who the most prolific representative is, they'll say Ty Segall. Any review or feature about the man will tell you how productive and creative he is, and his back catalogue alone proves that. [read more]
A photo review of Eleonora Collini at The Garage in London. [read more]