, July 6th, 2012 11:01
Such is the ferocious work rate of Ty Segall that there's every chance that he's written and recorded a new album by the time you get to the end of this review. Indeed, so prodigious is his output – two albums out last year, collaborations with White Fence this year – that the chances of him completing a world tour just as the last word of this critique has been written remain frighteningly real.
Yet given Segall's almost non-stop production ethic, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there must surely be a finite supply of a configuration of three chords, insanely catchy pop hooks, reverb-drenched vocals and scuzzy sounds that can only be achieved by outrageously fuzzy guitars fed through the sonic blender marked 'Neo-psychedelia'.
Let's face - in lesser hands there would be but Segall is a major force to be reckoned with. This is an artist who knows precisely where the sonic barriers are and how to keep pushing at them until they've not so much fallen over as been stormed and stomped mercilessly into the mud. Joined by one-time Epsilons bandmates, guitarist Mikal Cronin and bassist Charles Epstein, and drummer Emily Rose Epstein, the unholy yet seductively thrilling barrage of ramalama that's unleashed here goes a long way to realising Segall's objective of creating "...evil space rock".
You want evidence? Prepare to have your ears mangled and brain melted as if left overnight in a marinade of LSD and garnished with Liberty Caps thanks to the squalling wall of feedback that ushers in this unfeasibly exciting album on the appropriately titled 'Death'. Like a head full of acid, this is a ride that's impossible to control or navigate as the twisted noise gives way to racket that fuses The Birthday Party's 'Junkyard' ("I am the King!" intones Segall) with the Hawkwind of Doremi Fasol Latido to perfection.
The powerhouse rhythms of 'I Bought My Eyes' and 'Oh Mary' to name but two tracks are a veritable psychedelic Panzer attack that rain down a torrent of fuzz. Elsewhere, a cover of Bo Diddley's 'Diddy Wah Diddy' actually threatens to implode thanks to the force of energy and howling that sucks from its centre while the short sharp shock of 'Muscle Man' is a slap in the face to direct the feet in the direction of the dancefloor.
There is, of course, a caveat. The 10-minute feedback frenzy of closing track 'Fuzz War' was undeniably fun to make – ask anyone armed with six strings, an arsenal of effects pedals and a toasty valve amp – but less so to listen to. Nonetheless, as an album that can trace its lineage to tripped out rock & roll of The Cramps' classic Psychedelic Jungle, this is a record that will delight the type of antisocial delinquent given to dabbing, dropping and freaking out. And if those joys are alien to you, then this is as good a place to start as any while those experienced in such pleasures will give thanks for their continued supply.