Ty Segall – Ty Segall

Album Review by Pete Wild | 20 Jan 2017
  • Ty Segall – Ty Segall
Album title: Ty Segall
Artist: Ty Segall
Label: Drag City Records
Release date: 27 Jan

Ty Segall is back with his first self-titled record since his 2008 debut, which should tell you that this is a restatement of basic principles: dispensing with overdubs and recording instead with a full band, this is an album that comes marching out of the gate, grabbing you by the front of your shirt and then playing the most heavenly rock your ears have heard in many a month. And that's not even half the story.

Things kick off with Break a Guitar, which is crunchy and riff-tastic and perfectly in keeping with what you’d expect: yes, it’s slightly psychedelic; yes, it could be a Big Star B-side (still high praise), but whack it up high and by the time you hit the three-minute mark you’ll be painting your face, dancing in robes and half expecting the Age of Aquarius to resurrect itself.

Then there's two minutes of Freedom, a garage anthem in waiting (it’s also the kind of song you’ll stick on repeat and listen to until you die; perhaps this is what David Foster Wallace meant by Infinite Jest). And just when you think Ty's all about the rock this time round, Warm Hands (Freedom Returned) takes Freedom down a peg – think Syd Barrett impersonating Neil Young circa Tonight’s the Night. Talkin’ mellows us out still further; the kind of thing Ryan Adams used to do so well. Clearly, he's taking us on a ride.

The Only One roars like Sabbath and Thank You Mr. K hits ‘Maiden country, but Orange Color Queen (a song he’s written for his current squeeze, which could see him being thrown a few more Lennon comparisons) and Take Care (To Comb Your Hair) are just about the loveliest folk-pop ballads it’s been our good fortune to hear in an age.

In other words this is an album of light and shade, an album of nuance – which might surprise some people. He wears his influences on his sleeve, sure, but he makes all kinds of beautiful rackets. Not only are Ty Segall fans likely to be pressing this on people for the next few months, it also might be just about the best album he’s put his own name to. And that means it’s also likely to be the gateway Ty Segall drug for all those people who have yet to pay him any attention at all.

Listen to: Freedom, Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)