Ty Segall is beyond prolific. Twins is the San Francisco based artists third album of 2012, following Hair, as Ty Segall and the White Fences, and Slaughterhouse as Ty Segall Band. Now he’s back, just being Ty, with 12 typically warts-and-all tracks of ramshackle garage punk and classic Beatles melody. Unsurprisingly, Segall’s work rate doesn’t give much space to perfectionism. The songs on Twins are jagged with rusty edges and frequency bleed. Opener Thank God For Sinners has Segall singing his respects to underdogs and wrong ‘uns in a flattened voice that recalls John Lennon at his most cynical, guitars all fuzz and squall around him, sudden shrieks left to punch through the mix as they may. Once he’s paid his dues to his fans he carries right on, with shot after shot of swampy blues, effortlessly cool throughout.
Twins has Segall playing with a few different tempos; alongside the albums defining garage stomp there are dips into sludgey stoner grooves on Ghosts and the brutal Handglams, and acoustic country blues on Gold on the Shore. Common throughout though are short spans- most songs hover around a brisk 2 minute mark, and Segall’s knack with a vocal melody, dreamy, stoned, disconnected or languid, he hits the mark every time.
There are a couple of real high points—You The Doctor has wild Great Balls of Fire piano’s rattling ‘long like a train to hell, Segall a demented conductor spitting ‘there’s a problem in my BRAIN!’. This is followed by the masterfully creepy Inside Your Heart, with its opening couplet delivered dripping in threat: “Oh Dr will you tell me please// is it living inside of me?// It was alive// when it climbed inside”.
But picking out a couple of tracks misses the point- this really is an excellent collection, and a great introduction to an artist with a ridiculously large – and growing- back catalogue. Fans of Black Lips, Beck, White Stripes or any of the other American garage slackers need to get to know, now. 9/10
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