April 22, 2012

Review: Ty Segall & White Fence - Hair

Ty Segall and Tim Presley, a.k.a. White Fence are busy guys. But so is everyone else in the garage rock scene, it seems. The usual yearly string of releases from these guys started earlier this month, with the release of White Fence's nostalgia-fueled Family Perfume Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 coming out in May), which would have been considered slightly ahead of its time, had it come out in 1968. Now here we are with Hair, a similarly 60s-esque record, devoid of fillers and filled to the brim with catchy riffs and explosive energy.

The album opens with "Time", a track that should signify which of the duo's styles comes through more, and who drew the short stick, so to speak. To be honest though, it isn't immediately clear who comes out on top here. There styles are so similar that if there is a heavy lean towards one or the other, it's hardly noticeable. The track starts off with an eerie count-up, followed by 3 banged-out chords bleeding in anticipation, then out of nowhere the song goes soft and kicks back for a few minutes, but picks right back up towards the end. The next track, "I Am Not A Game" is nothing but pure feedback-soaked bliss. I'll be damned if this isn't the best song of Ty Segall's career. Other stand-outs include the firm-footed "Easy Ryder", the psychedelic, sunshine-drenched "(I Can't) Get Around You", and the quickly-paced "Scissor People", which pulls a few tricks here and there.

There are little moments on this that make me love it even more, like the incredible solo on "I Am Not a Game", the steady beat on "Easy Ryder", the piano solo and Ty's pouting on "Crybaby", the harmonies and brief transposition on closer "Tongues", the amount of 60s influence shining through "I Can't Get Around You", the unexpected raw takeover of "Rag", and so on. If there's one thing these guys have been consistent with over the years, it's changing things up, no matter what, so it's no surprise that they've refined this even further with Hair. It's easy to guess why they've managed to stick out in the increasingly-overcrowded garage rock scene.

I have mentioned a few key tracks here, but honestly, all of these songs are fantastic in their own right. It's got so much raw power, but at no point does it drag down or forget the listener. To put it simply, Hair is pure, jangly fun, released at just the right time. Quite frankly, it's better than anything these two have done before. I feel like it's already summer, and only these guys can do that for me.


1 comment:

  1. Cool album. Segall and White Fence have really created a throw back to a more authentic 60's sound occasionally co-opting some source material from bands like The Who and,of course, the every omnipresent Beatles. "Crybaby" in particular whose main groove is almost lifted from "The Ballad of John and Yoko" has that high end Lennon-esque EQ to the vocals and even a tinge of Brit accent. The whole album is bathed in this loving homage and many of the songs (Time in particular) has that George Harrison lead guitar sound. I imagine that some of the iconic 60's bands would of sounded like Ty and Segall, if not melodically, sonically if you could go back in time and hear them all rough around the edges at some British house show or small pub. Some one hurry up and build a time machine already.


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