For a long time, you could possibly pigeonhole Ty Segall into a genre. Of course, over time that’s changed as Segall has become more esoteric with what he does and he new album embraces that inscrutable. For many artists, that means that no one’s paying attention. But when your output rivals Robert Pollard, you have to keep mixing things up to keep things interesting for yourself. On his new album First Taste, Segall throws convention and genres out the window and crafts his most intriguing form of perplexed notions ever. And he does so like it’s second nature.
For starters, the opener “Taste” has enough hooks to be considered radio friendly, though that’s not really a thing for original acts anymore. With percussive elements galore, Segall shows a more groove oriented side without throwing away some of his inner weirdness. This gets followed up by the samba touched tones of “Whatever,” where more of that groove comes into play and gets met with falsetto vocals, dual vocals, and plenty of notes that sound like there’s thirty people performing on the track. While “Ice Track” has a vocal chorus at its opening, the way that similar sound gets utilized on “The Fall” feels like you’re falling down a cliff. The drums and varying snaps of percussion get greeted with a ferocious jam that feels closest to chaos without the amps catching fire. Though, that could come soon.
The album is diverse, it doesn’t allow you to become comfortable with one particular sound over another and takes you on a journey that feels like the map was written by Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart. “The Arms” has an island vine that starts with a ukulele, “I Sing Them” sounds like remnants of a bluegrass jam being played by members on acid and “Lone Cowboys” opens you up with big notes and a melodica that just adds to the mysterious universe that Segall has created before it goes full on bonkers. But with all of that, the shining star on the album is “Self Esteem.” It begins with drums that have the tone that they’re being played down a hallway and then a mixture of what could be tripled vocals and a noodling riff come in to create a smooth jam feel. Then all hell breaks loose and horns blare like they’re signalling something menacing before the song returns to its original form. Whatever Ty Segall is drinking, we feel like it’s a cocktail that more artists need a sip of. In twelve tracks you get taken to another land where the music is the guide and you have no idea where you’re being lead to.
First Taste is available to stream on all streaming sites today, it can be purchased physically on various formats from Drag City Records or digitally wherever you download music. Ty Segall will be at Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, CA tonight until September 27. He will then take up a residency in Brooklyn, NY at Warsaw from October 01 until October 05. He then heads to Europe at La Cigale in Paris, France on October 09 until October 19 at Desertfest in Antwerp, Belgium. His complete run of shows can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Denee Segall.