If you haven’t yet heard of Ty Segall that will probably change very soon. The twentysomething California native has been exceptionally busy for the last seven years, recording and playing with a slew of bands like Epsilons, Party Fowl, The Traditional Fools, and The Perverts, not to mention stuff released under his own name as well as with White Fence. This prolific output, along with his age, garage-rock influences, and connection to Goner Records might remind you of another overachieving young musician.
When asked about being “the next Jay Reatard” in interviews, Segall admits he considers it a huge compliment. However, Slaughterhouse, the debut recording of Segall and his touring band, should firmly establish him as a musical force in his own right.
Slaughterhouse is a perfect name for 40 minutes of blistering, raw guitar glory. It’s the kind of album that makes hearts explode and ears bleed. It will force angry parents to bang on bedroom doors and scream. It doesn’t sound even remotely compressed or polished. This is the sound of people in love with their guitars.
But do not think that Slaughterhouse lacks tunes. In addition to all those guitars, Ty Segall is also in love with harmonies; every song with vocals features a full dosage of “ooohh”s, too. Yet there are no “singles” here; this is rock & roll immediacy at its finest.
The album opens with “Death,” which blasts your ears with a full minute of feedback before launching into a discernible melody. (About the closest Slaughterhouse gets to straight up pop is “Muscle Man” and even that’s pretty intense.) It sounds heavy and dirty and dark, the Church of Satan’s version of garage rock. But as Slaughterhouse continues, Segall and Company cannot hide their varied influences and considerable talents. Despite the brutal onslaught of guitars, these are some catchy-as-hell songs. Still dirty and dark, but undeniably addictive.
At times, like in “I Bought My Eyes” and “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart,” Segall sounds like what John Lennon might’ve if he’d been born ten years later. There is an invigorating, raw energy suffused with the spirit of the early days of rock & roll, or even what punk sounded like before the word itself was coined. It’s really fucking exciting. When Segall screams “FUCK YEAH!” at the end of “Wave Goodbye” it’s like he knows what we’re thinking.
I would like to call out the other three band members by name since they’re all outstanding musicians: Mikal Cronin’s bass is stunning, especially on “Wave Goodbye;” Emily Rose Epstein (female drummer!) bangs out beats like she’s on the verge of a breakdown; and Charles Moothart more than ably assists Segall in making us fall in love with guitars all over again.
In fact, most of the songs are credited to the band as a whole, which gives you an idea of the dynamic between these four people. “Oh Mary” is a Segall-only composition, and there are two covers: “The Bag I’m In” by folk singer Fred Neil (who penned the Harry Nilsson hit “Everybody’s Talkin’”) is nearly unrecognizable as is Bo Diddley’s “Diddy Wah Diddy” (the original almost sounds quaint next to Segall’s searing version).
Slaughterhouse ends with the ten-minute “Fuzz War” which lives up to its title and then some. It’s all distortion, feedback, ambient voices, and noise, cut through with “Iron Man”-style riffage. Perhaps it’s a little self-indulgent, but then again, isn’t all rock & roll?
Ty Segall Band will be touring Europe and North America from July through September. If Slaughterhouse is any indication they are NOT to be missed.
Mon. July 23 / Bordeaux, Fr @ Festival Relâche
Wed. July 25 / Turin, IT @ Museo Regionale Di Scienze Naturali
Thu. July 26 / Rome, IT @ Roma Vila
Fri. July 27 / Ancona, IT @ Lazzaretto
Sat. July 28 / Bologna, IT @ Bolognetti Courtyard
Sun. July 29 / Helsinki, FI @ Kuudes Aisti Festival
Mon. July 30 / Manchester, UK @ The Castle Hotel
Tue. July 31 / Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
Wed. Aug. 1 / Brighton, UK @ The Green Door Store
Thu. Aug. 2 / London, UK @ Birthdays
Fri. Aug. 3 / Binic, FR @ Binic Folks Blues Festival 2012
Sat. Aug. 4 / Haarlem, NL @ Garage Festival
Sun. Aug. 5 / Katowice, PO @ Off Festival 2012
Mon. Aug. 6 / Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg
Tue. Aug. 7 / Copenhagen, DK @ KB18
Wed. Aug. 8 / Norway, Oslo @ The Crossroads Club / Øya Festival
Thu. Aug. 9 / Antwerp, BE @ Trix
Mon. Sep. 3 / Seattle, WA @ Bumbershoot Festival
Tue. Sep. 11 / Las Vegas, NV @ Neon Reverb Festival w/ Thee Oh Sees
Thu. Sep. 13 / Denver, CO @ Gothic Theater w/ Thee Oh Sees
Fri. Sep. 14 / Oklahoma City, OK @ ACM at UCO w/ Thee Oh Sees
Sat. Sep. 15 / Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa w/ Thee Oh Sees
Tue. Sep. 18 / Atlanta, GA @ Goat Farm w/ Thee Oh Sees
Wed. Sep. 19 / Birmingham, AL @ The Bottletree Café w/ Thee Oh Sees
Thu. Sep. 20 / Nashville, TN @ Zombie Shop w/ Thee Oh Sees
Fri. Sep. 21 / Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter w/ Thee Oh Sees
Sat. Sep. 22 / Brooklyn, NY @ The Well w/ Thee Oh Sees
Sun. Sep. 23 / Asbury Park, NJ @ ATP Festival
Tue. Sep. 25 / Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom w/ Thee Oh Sees
Wed. Sep. 26 / Toronto, ON @ The Hoxton w/ Thee Oh Sees
Sat. Sep. 29 / Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon w/ Thee Oh Sees
Sun. Sep. 30 / St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club w/ Thee Oh Sees