“This Record is for San Francisco” reads the inner sleeve of Ty Segall’s latest album Twins, his third of the year and god only knows which overall. This dedication is a likely title for the book that somebody will eventually write about the current San Francisco Garage Rock scene, a book that will hopefully clear up just how extensive Thee Oh Sees’ discography really is, and explain if it’s because time moves slower there that is allowing its artists to be seem so prolific to the outside world. It was almost 10 Months between the release of Segall’s excellent 2011 album Goodbye Bread and his first of 2012; the equally excellent Ty Segall & White Fence collaborative album: Hair. A time that is an eternity compared to the rapidity of his 2012 releases, but a gap that was broken up by the release of a Singles compilation. It seems to be an objective of Segall’s to overtake record shelves. After his next excellent album Slaughterhouse arrived in late June, released under the name Ty Segall Band and featuring his live band Mikal Cronin, Emily Rose Epstein and Charlie Mootheart, it began to look as if 2012 was going to be important in Segall’s history and even given its own chapter in that book I am imagining.

All eyes turned to Twins, to see if Ty could strongly finish out the 2012 Ty-logy, or the Ty-fecta, the Ty-angular, the Ty-ple Threat, or Ty Hard 3: With a Vengeance, whichever dumb name you prefer. It’s his first true solo album in 16 Months, but it’s not a return to the style of Goodbye Bread and is instead informed by the two 2012 records. Drawing from both the psychedelic edge of Hair and the harsh grit of Slaughterhouse, yet still drenched in Segall’s fun approach to music. “Thank God for the Sinners” begins with a psychedelic fade into a biting riff, Segall then throws in some blown out Thin Lizzy guitar harmonies and an anthem worthy chorus. “You’re the Doctor” continues the excellent chorus streak, with the repeated phrase “There’s a problem in my brain”, dark subject that becomes a great fuzz pop song.

The album name Twins suggests that Segall likes repetition, or that it’s simply a byproduct of being prolific. As “Inside Your Heart” is both the second song on Twins to mention doctors and the second Ty Segall of the year to name check its title phrase after Slaughterhouse’s “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart”. But the melting machinery of Segall’s voice as he repeats the phrase is an electric kick into new territory despite the similarities. Brigid Dawson of Thee Oh Sees provides Segall with a serene psych vocal take on “The Hill”, the song builds in ferocity before a strangled guitar solo mangles any remaining shreds of serenity.

“Love Fuzz” is not as the title suggest a head down distorted power pop love song that Segall proves he is the master of on side A’s “Would You Be My Love”, but rather a seductive falsetto sung slow jam with a metallic groove. Segall continues the falsetto in the far more haunted “Handglams” what was just faux-sexy now seems maniacal, it leaves the same impression as the weighty stomp of “Ghost”. Every track has its twin, the two closers “Gold on the Shore”, an acoustic ballad, and “There Is No Tomorrow”, an end of the world love song, work best in succession. But it’s where Segall’s Twins motif fall apart that make the album interesting. It’s the least cohesive of his releases and the only real thread throughout the various power pop, slow ballads, and corroded rock songs, is the guitar distortion. It’s a miraculously fresh and interesting album which could have easily been comprised of the dregs of a creatively exhaustive year for Segall. Twins is his whole discography in short form, a dazzling mad rush through every type of rock song you can think of.

4/5

Advertisements