Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ty Segall Band Grinds Slaughterhouse

Ty Segall has no intention of slowing down. Since the release of his fifth solo album Goodbye Bread, he has influenced the direction of a number of bands including his newest. It's expectedly unexpected.

The Ty Segall Band obviously includes Segall up front, but the accompaniment of his touring players has come aboard for much longer than the immediate; maybe indefinite.

They aren't playing Segall material exclusively either. They helped write some of the songs to produce the extraordinarily raw garage rock album, Slaughterhouse.

Recorded with Chris Woodhouse at the Hander, Segall — with Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moonheart, and Emily Rose Epstein — turned their amps all the way up and set their fuzz pedals to obliterate. The outcome is a bristling and blistering set of eleven tracks of authoritative psychedelia-laced garage rock.

Slaughterhouse is an album by Ty Segall from another dimension. 

Slaughterhouse is the second full-length Segall has put out this year. The first was a stripped down eight-track collaborative with Tim Presley and his White Fence called Hair. The third will be out later this year for Drag City, unless he gathers up more songs for a solo.

There is some familiarity to be found deep inside Hair and Slaughterhouse, but it will only be obvious for those who enjoy heavy doses of Segall in all his varied forms. Otherwise, Slaughterhouse is fuller, deeper, louder, and easier to embellish on tour. It also proves he has no intention of ever going soft. He just never wants to be bored. He's not bored here. And neither is anybody else.

The first song sets the breadth of Slaughterhouse, with a full minute guitar squall introduction before racing ahead into Death. The rest of it plays like a straightforward rock throwback, leaving plenty of room for instrumental showmanship.

Wave Goodbye is the bluesiest tune on the album with a slower tempo before blanking out the deep rock crunch as a quieter, fuzzy ripper. It's dense, intense, and carries a descending bass line and dual guitar solo toward the end. It will wake up anyone expecting something stripped back.

I Bought My Eyes is one of my favorite tracks on the album, opening up with some 60s folk rock sensibilities. That comes to an end 45 seconds into the song before the band breaks into a slamming pace, slowing down only for the chorus.

A sampling of what to expect around the rest Slaughterhouse. 

The title track is another favorite but for a different reason. It's an underrated and unrestrained punk track that the band blows through in just over 90 seconds. Segall screams off in the distance, giving more room for the instrumental buzz storm up front. It's one of three breathtakingly fast tracks like Muscle Man and Oh Mary that capture the angst of the album as it bounces back and forth between different bouts of garage rock.

Although all of it is loud, there isn't anything to miss on Slaughterhouse. Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart is incredibly well structured and observant surf rock. It's an insistent but sarcastic love song of sorts, with Segall begging and begging to know someone's heart until deciding to tear that heart apart.

The Bag I'm In could have been a clean rocker too. Instead, it feels like the band took the entire composition and dragged it across gravel first. So does Diddy Wah Diddy. It could have been a 4-minute rocker, except they crunched it into just under three minutes.

The idea is ingenious as it goes along with the album's name. They've taken what could have been expected songs and ripped them up in a meat grinder, making it all darker, heavier, and much more fun. And if anything feels too short, the 10-plus minute rock garble Fuzz War will fix it.

Slaughterhouse By The Ty Segall Band Hits 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

The album is an amazing contrast to anything Segall has put out as solo work. It moves him out of his comfort zone in a different way. While it can't be called his best songwriting, it is a collection of incredibly inspired and wild selections by the band.

In fact, Slaughterhouse was originally meant to be a six-song EP, but the band had so much fun in the studio that they kept laying down short, crazy, and intense tracks. Unrelated, Fuzz might be the name of another new band by Cronin and Moonheart. Segall will likely sign on to the project too, but this time as a drummer.

Don't feel obligated to purchase the entire album just to get the last track, Fuzz War. I enjoyed the noise, but it is probably not for everyone. The album can be picked a bit, depending on the direction you like. You can find Slaughterhouse on iTunes or find the CD at Barnes & Noble. Slaughterhouse is also on Amazon.
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