Devon Hannan, Features Editor
[Drag City; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned),” “Thank You Mr. K,” “Orange Color Queen”
First of all, what guy has two self-titled albums? If there’s one thing is for certain, it’s that Ty Segall never plays by the rules. On his second self-titled album, Ty Segall takes a stab at branding the image he has made for himself. To put it lightly, he does a pretty dang good job. While Ty Segall doesn’t bring anything insanely innovative for the scene at large, it does pull the best from Segall’s entire discography and packages it conveniently into one, big train wreck of garage-band goodness.
Segall comes in strong with “Break A Guitar,” a track that sounds like it came straight off of Melted. Ty Segall also features tracks that sound like the psychedelic continuation of Segall’s first self-titled, just with an added sense of maturity, or in Segall’s case – immaturity. This album is fun, it keeps you on your toes and it’s about to elicit one of Segall’s most exciting tours to date.
The sheer differentiation in this album is remarkable. Segall bridges an ultimate divide between a handful of genres including, but not limited to folk pop, classic psychedelic rock and fuzz; think side two of The White Album meets Blitzen Trapper’s American Goldwing. In terms of Segall’s infinite artistic ability, this album certainly isn’t lacking in changes of pace. “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)” combines head-turning harmonies with Segall’s grungiest sound yet. This track isolates accented percussion, amplified with a distinct heaviness, like that of walking through wet concrete, until it slowly drones out into a hum of screeching slides and psychedelic keys. With these constant tempo changes, Segall dangles listeners over the edge, only to bring them back with his classic but true-to-self sound.
With traditional punk, yet thought provoking lyricism, Segall isn’t shutting up and he isn’t sitting down either. Ty Segall presents a wide array of themes, such as political spite in “Thank You Mr. K,” disdain for social hierarchies, and (of course) blithe love. Like the folk-pop version of Melted’s “My Sunshine,” “Orange Color Queen” is a carefree bop that captivates the softest side of Segall, making him as personable as ever.
Segall ends his album just as he started, with a bang (and a subtle reference to his first self-titled). While Ty Segall’s 2017 release may not catapult Segall into a new light, it certainly shows what he’s capable of. Instead of recreating himself, Segall’s second self-titled serves as a great showcase of his previous work – combining what he’s known for and, maybe, what he’s not.