If you’ve browsed our Top LPs of 2012 list then you already know how I feel about Ty Segall’s Twins (it landed at #10 on said list). Heck, if you are a regular visitor, you probably know how I feel about Segall as a songwriter. Both prolific and consistent, Segall is constantly building upon an already impressive discography that is rarely paralleled by any contemporary or past songwriter. But, even in the context of other prolific musicians, Segall is impressive for his reliability. His fans hungrily devour even the most obscure of his many, many releases, because they can feel confident that the material will live up to the standards they’ve come to expect from him. Twins, which is his most recent full length, can be easily regarded as one of his best releases thus far.
On Twins, Segall sounds like what you’d expect from John Lennon if he had been born in Detroit and raised listening to LPs by The Stooges and MC5. In other words, Segall is loud, noisy, and fuzzed out, but underneath it all are simple, concise pop songs sussed out with heady hits of swirling psychedelica. For example, tracks like “Who Are You” brandish snarling, crunchy guitar riffs and heavy, thumping percussion built along a foundation baring an uncanny resemblance to 60’s pop (rubbery bass riffs, clean melodies, and all).
And, as always, Segall is powerfully kinetic and viscerally energetic throughout. The LP opens with fiery fuzztone guitar riffs, a lurking bassline, and crashing drums as Segall sings with a fierce melody: “Thank God for the sinners. Thank God for your love.” The splintered, buzzing guitars and thundering rhythm makes the tune sound ready to split apart at any moment. So it’s impressive that he manages to turn it up, both louder and faster, on the frantic and ringing thrasher “You’re The Doctor.” But even then, with the knob cranked past 11, Segall never entirely buries the hook.
Of course, if all you hear when you listen to Segall’s songwriting is the noise and fuzz, you’re definitely missing the bigger picture. His brushstrokes may be loose and free-wheeling, but his melodies, though slightly obscured, are often as playful and flowery as any good psych-pop song from the late 60s. For example, underneath it all, “Would You Be My Love” is as catchy a tune as nearly anything written by The Troggs or The Kinks. Similarly, laced with handclaps and swirling guitars, “Love Fuzz” is oozing with equal parts multi-colored rainbows and chugging, fuzz-drenched rhythms.
Likewise, Kasey’s Chipotle Shrimp Tacos are simple, fiery, and delicious. If you’re considering a good musical pairing, imagine your guacamole or tomatillo salsa is guitar fuzz to spoon in heavy dollops on top of a crisp melody (or shrimp taco) and you have a good metaphor for Segall’s brand of garage rock songwriting.