Surfer Grunge

Indie rocker and late-night TV fave Ty Segall brings psychedelic sound to Austin

Indie rocker and late-night TV fave Ty Segall brings psychedelic sound to Austin

Have you checked out Spin lately? What about Pitchfork? If you answered yes to either of those — and especially if you answered yes to both — then it's highly likely you are familiar with the name Ty Segall.

Even fans of late-night television who may not typically be into indie-rock have been exposed to this guy. He's brought his energetic, ramshackle rock to talk-show favorites such as Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien in the course of his prodigious and prolific run of releasing killer album after killer album. 

 Segall is more than just a punk tinkering with a guitar and a Pro Tools-equipped laptop. 

For many artists, releasing an unusually high number of albums in the span of a year or two will generally reveal an uneven body of work. For Segall, however, it's hard to argue that the past two years have displayed anything but a growth in maturity.

Segall's stamp can be found on a dozen releases since 2010. But it's his three-album run consisting of 2011's Goodbye Bread and Slaughterhouse and 2012's Twins that best details the ways in which Segall is more than just a punk tinkering with a guitar and a Pro Tools-equipped laptop. 

Goodbye Bread is considered to be a calmer album than the others mentioned here, and, for the most part, that's true. What most deem calm results from Segall's ability to offer up a clean, yet convincingly psychedelic sound, with a few slower tempos mixed in.

His ability to show restraint in the shredding department is impressive and makes it possible for this album to be experienced in a new way. Without question, this is the most black-light poster-worthy album Segall has proffered. Who knows? Check out the merch table and see if one might be available.

Slaughterhouse is the debut release of the Ty Segall Band. As is often the case with Segall's recordings, The Stooges and the influence they carry are mentioned in nearly every review of this album.

 Twins is likely to be the album that serves as a "Segall starter kit" for folks who look to learn more about him in the years to come.

Of course, the reviews were glowing as well. For an example in polar opposites, check out "Fuzz War," the instrumental 10-minute closing tack from Slaughterhouse. It's a cacophony of noise that's pulled off really well, but such abrasive droning would've been a grungy sore-thumb on Goodbye Bread

Twins, Segall's latest full-length release, has him back in the solo seat, as he plays nearly every instrument on the album. Whether intended or not, this is the record that seems to tie the last couple of years together artistically. There's an array of the sounds and styles that made both Goodbye Bread and Slaughterhouse terrific — but very different — albums.

Filthy shredding is present. So to is the psychedelic sound that seems to be in the water in California.

Segall's vocals are bathed in reverb, putting them into the role of musical instrument as much as they are responsible for relaying the lyrics. Twins is likely to be the album that stands out as Segall's go-to album or the "Segall starter kit" for folks who look to learn more about him in the years to come.

In an unsurprising development, Segall has been working with some old buddies on a sludgy and heavily melodic side project by the name of Fuzz. Given Segall's penchant for creating at a rapid pace without sacrificing quality, it's also of little surprise that the Fuzz songs released so far are really good.

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See Ty Segall try to figure out which songs to play on Friday, January 25, at Mohawk.    

Ty Segall
Ty Segall knows how to rock the grunge look.  mtvhive.com
Ty Segall
On other occasions, Segall appears quirky but not completely tripped out. Annabel Mehran
Ty Segall
The album cover for Twins Courtesy of Drag City Records
Ty Segall
Ty Segall
Ty Segall