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Music Notes

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Ty Segall and The Sonics

The point of this column is to discuss a recent music release or show, and then look for something similar or related to recommend. This week’s column focuses on Ty Segall’s music style.

 

Ty Segall – Ty Segall

Ty Segall’s new self-titled album is out. Ty is an experimental indie rock fellow. You may have heard his other project “Fuzz” with a common collaborator Charles Mootheart. I like that Segall seems to get bored with sounds and seems to constantly move things around, even if it doesn’t always make something totally original.

The new record has a very jammy feeling, but most of his stuff is though. What I really like about this record in comparison to the other ones is that it sounds like he’s putting more work into the writing, adding more range of emotion, but he does actually keep that jam sort of feeling. The song “Warm Hands” really shows that range. It’s a ten minute song with a lot of different parts, and they all sound very different, but they kind of melt together. However, I do think that the first song “Break a Guitar” was a little lazy for Segall. It’s not that I didn’t like the song, it was just a little more predictable than I had expected. “Talkin” is a little bit of a country style. I think the lyrics are mostly interesting; they talk about how sometimes our criticisms of others are reflections of our own problems. “Thank you Mr. K” is a lot more punk than most of the other songs, and I like that. “Orange Colored Queen” is probably my second favorite song on the album, and is the most psych-sounding track on the record. “Papers,” and “Take Care (To Brush Your Hair)” are funny, lyrical concepts that I don’t think bring much more than humor. The untitled track at the end is a little pointless, with two power chords followed by nothing.

Segall’s album is easier to listen to than his earlier effort “Emotional Mugger” which was more creative, and I liked it more. “Emotional Mugger” was also more raw; it didn’t feel like anything was held back there. The new album is so much more relaxed.

For new Segall listeners, I recommend starting with “Orange Colored Queen” off the self-titled album.

On its own, Ty Segall’s newest record is actually really good. It’s chill, jammy and just really fun to listen to, but if you’re looking for the album to copy the dark psychedelic chaos of “Emotional Mugger,” it just isn’t there.

 

The Sonics

The Sonics are the earliest band I can find with as much of a punk vibe as Segall. What the Sonics did was take rock in the era’s most successful (they started in 1960), and push it as much as they could at the time.

Sonics wouldn’t make a record until 1965, with the release of “Here Are The Sonics.” To me, this might be one of the most important records ever released for the eventual rise of punk. Everything, from their distortion to the theme of witches and drinking strychnine, was unnaturally dark for its time. “Strichnyne” is my favorite song on here – it’s so raw, and I really love the piano behind the guitar. “Have Love, Will Travel,” which is definitely top four on here, is generally the one that will pop up if you Google the Sonics.  “The Witch,” and “Psycho” are also really good songs.

“Boom” was the last record the Sonics would release for about 50 years.  Besides “Cinderella” and “Shot Down,” most of this record just didn’t have the punch that their first one did. I’m not saying that it’s not worth listening to – it’s really good music – just not quite so adventurous.

 

The latest record released by the Sonics was “This Is The Sonics.” They obviously didn’t lose their ability to play, but it just couldn’t be like what they had released half a decade before. I did really like “Bad Betty” though.