Ty Segall may be relatively new on the scene, but he’s also a veteran. This San Francisco rocker has been pulling duty in San Francisco bands for several years now. Whether he’s been drumming, playing guitar, or front-manning, he’s been a part of The Perverts, Party Fowl, The Traditional Fools, Sic Alps, and Epsilons. Phew. Seems like even though he’s only put one album as Ty Segall before this week, he’s definitely been around the block. His latest album, Lemons, came out last week to good reviews, and we’ve been spinning it like crazy here on BTR.
Lemons is chock-full of crunchy, garage-rock lo-fi sound. But unlike some of his peers in the now fully-emerged California lo-fi movement, his music is consistently sprinkled with catchy hooks and choruses, worthy of the 1960s garage rock he is so influenced by. One of the few influences listed on his Myspace is the proto-punk band, The Troggs, best known for penning “Wild Thing.” The Troggs, however, were really one of the first true garage rock and roll bands, and played simple, soulful, dirty rock music that was just plain good. They’re a clear influence for Ty Segall, and an interesting one in comparison to the rest of his new brethren in the lo-fi class of the late 2000s. Instead of reveling in the punk sounds of the 70s and turning them into something sloppier and somehow new (Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls, Nodzzz, etc.), he goes back to the source, making simple, guttural 60s-tinged tunes that stand on their own songwriting.
Take the ninth song on Lemons, for example. “Die Tonight” begins with a very familiar chord progression that could fit well anywhere from a Beach Boys’ to MC5 tune. The vocals then go on to chant over the repetitive, heavy guitar “you’re gonna die tonight,” simply mimicking the guitar part note for note. It’s simple, but incredibly effective. That’s how I’d ultimately have to describe Segall, and especially this new album, Lemons. He keeps it simple, but to brilliant effect.
In the past, Ty Segall has performed as a one-man-band, playing whatever instruments he was able to manage by himself. Apparently it was a bit gimmicky, which doesn’t represent his music at all. Luckily, he’s added a few musicians to play along with him now. He’ll certainly be playing a few shows in support of his new release, even though there’s only one scheduled at press time. If the rocking simplicity of his recorded music is any indication, Ty Segall must put on one hell of a show. Keep your ears peeled for more from this brand new up-and-coming artist on BTR!
7/26 – Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
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– Madalyn Baldanzi