Sometimes it takes a while for the dust to settle. An atomic bomb drops on a metropolis. The smoke rises, the chaos ensues, and the vision is blurred. The force is immediate, but coming to a complete realization of the impact is delayed. The days creep by and the devastation somersaults into digestion. The sensors and nerves that were responsible for creating thought and opinion are now prisoners, withering away on their new deathbed. Once the mental explosion takes place, there is no other choice but to accept a new fate.
Ty Segall Band’s release of Slaughterhouse has been this year’s musical atomic bomb. The title of the album causes listeners to take a step back without much time to consider the ramifications before hitting play. The slaughterhouse is a dark place where many lives come to an end for the purpose of allowing others to grow. My experience with Segall’s Slaugtherhouse has caused a numbing, delayed reaction that left my thoughts paralyzed. The dust has settled. I am now able to explain the impact that this record has had on me.
Slaughterhouse is for those looking for a temporary anesthetic. Segall’s deep, lo-fi guitars grip the listener and the band’s sound is beautifully muffled. Opening track “Death” smacks the listener in the face and demands focus on Segall’s distorted strings. A mesmerizing moment is reached as the band enters with a layer of fuzz that feels disorienting. As the song progresses, the listener slowly accepts a new, serene escape that forecasts a change of thought. The introduction is gripping. Listeners are immediately forced to give the keys to Segall and let him be their guide through the upcoming layers of destruction.
The vision is blurred and the headlights dull as Segall carries us through the different stages of Slaughterhouse. The fog thickens as the album progresses. Follow up track “I Bought My Eyes” signals a look back, which seems to project an acceptance of what has passed. Segall screams, “I was a rich man, I was a poor man, but now I will never know” which seems to find a way to move the listener into a confused comfort. As the pace condenses, a timer is set that paves a new path of musical thought. It serves as Segall’s last opportunity to ponder before the bomb’s timer reads zero. Although it is dimly lit, this track promotes a rebuild. This is a step away from the tragic scene of confusion towards a painful acceptance. The music is muffled, but after this track the road becomes clearer for the listener.
A fork in the road emerges as “Wave Goodbye” passes through the rotation. This is Segall’s sayonara scream that sounds like a doomsday escape subdued by a quiet comfort. Segall sings, “Soon I will find, the peace to get up, to wave goodbye, bye bye, bye bye.” As I listen to this track I begin to think about the difficulties that come with shutting the door and moving in another direction. Segall manages to use songs like “Wave Goodbye” to clear the smoke and pave the road for what is next. A new perception is offered with grave confidence. Segall’s step forward motivates those who need some guidance.
The delayed reaction to Slaughterhouse has been completely out of my control. Segall’s second release of 2012 came in blindsiding fashion. An explosion of themes left me numb while trying to wrap my thoughts around his latest project. Segall’s rapid increase of sound emits a new energy that shifts my thought process as I move into the second half of the year. This record serves as a rebuild and the final chapter of a past life’s pains. This new perception is guided by a fidelity that is lower than most…a beautiful explosion.
Written by Brett McGrath
Have you ever felt like a musician had a pulse on the emotions that make your musical tastes tick? With each subsequent release that musician appears able to solidify his spot in your rotation and gradually expand his influence. In order to qualify for this sort of position, the musician is often a habitual releaser. The best-case scenario is that this artist has at least an album and an EP every year for at least three years. The music liberates, resonates, and then before the listener can ask for another they are rewarded with more. Ty Segall releases music at the relentless pace that I wish all of my favorite artists operated under. He is a rich product of Rock and Roll and he lacks an expiration date.
Ty Segall is known, but under valued. Hailing from the San Francisco area, Segall has become known for his emphasis on a distorted guitar sound that bellows out of his amplifier while humming in the lowest fidelity possible. He is best placed as a product of the garage rock revival of the early 2000’s. It would not be uncommon for someone to stumble into a room where a Segall album was being played and mistake one of his solos for that of Jack White. Segall is able to add a layer of psychedelic rock on top of most of his songs to emulate a Small Faces meets White Stripes appeal. A hard working musician that deserves attention for not only his previous work, but also what he has set out to do in 2012.
Ty Segall produces at a faster rate than OctoMom. Since 2008, he has released 8 LPs, 9 45s/EPs, 6 split 45s/EPs, and 4 compilations. This man is truly dedicated to producing new music and keeping his sound fresh. While some might argue that this insane release schedule might water down the music, I would admit that this is how he keeps me interested. Since my introduction to Ty Segall on Melted in 2010, I have been captivated by his approach. He delivers a rugged slew of sounds that are offered to listeners on an annual basis.
Ty Segall partnered with White Fence (Tim Presley) to release Hair in late April of this year. They delivered an eight-track musical brainteaser that relies heavily on the deep guitar melodies that I have grown to love. Tracks like “Scissor People” cut right to the core. The song offers muffled lyrics paired with a screaming guitar melody, fitting comfortably in the Segall catalog. An obscure transition involving fast drums and radical tone changes closes this song with mystery. It might take the new listener a while to sync in, but for long time Segall supporters will feel at home.
Ty Segall is set to bring us his second full length of the year in Slaughterhouse on June 26. This never settle attitude that has lured me into Ty Segall as an artist. Sometimes these musical connections happen naturally. Other times distortion enters, and the rest is impossible for me to avoid. Listen to Ty Segall’s first single “ Wave Goodbye” of his upcoming release and see if it makes sense to you.
Written by Brett McGrath