Ty Segall is approaching being too prolific for his own good. He pumps out records so quickly he’s barely giving listeners a chance to miss him, and it’s not as though there’s a whole lot to distinguish the various projects he’s involved in — what, really, makes a Ty Segall release different from a Ty Segall Band release? His solo work is a bit more pop-friendly, sure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that any of the songs on his latest solo record Twins would have been out of place on his June-released Ty Segall Band full-length Slaughterhouse. The main difference between that album and Twins is merely the fact that this new record is doesn’t ever fully engage in pure noisy sludge, it just stands on the cusp of doing so. Even if it’s becoming harder and harder to fight feelings of déjà vu when listening to each new Segall record, it’s also pretty hard to deny the quality underlining all three of the albums he has offered up this year.
One of the fascinating things about Segall is that his career path has not followed a linear trajectory of any kind. He may have appeared to be embracing a Lennon-esque pop sensibility on last year’s Goodbye Bread, but rather than further entrench himself on that path on Twins, he simply revisits it from time to time. Bread has proven to be less of a stepping stone to more accessible territories and more of a stylistic option he can return to as he chooses. For all of the similarities running throughout Segall’s catalog, there are unique qualities to each entry as well. Twins‘ distinguishing mark seems to be how it constantly straddles pop and noise at the same time, never fully relinquishing to either completely. Segall has become a master at using his noisy squalor to create dynamics, bringing the listener catharsis at all of the right points, but on this record he also never once forsakes a great melody. The album’s excellent rhythm section can at times be pummeling, but more often it provides a melodic backbone.
To get right down to it, the real reason Segall can continue pumping out albums without it leading to tedium on behalf of the listener is because he has significant songwriting chops. Twins, much like all of the records he’s put out in the last year and half, boasts one infectious melody after another. Segall’s gift for bringing engaging Lennon-esque melodies to his Stooges-like stomp is unique, but the music succeeds not just because of its earworms but also due to the expert craft and attention to detail. Even amid the feedback squall and runaway riffs, Segall has a steady hand on the controls. What makes this all the more impressive is that he may have taken the time to hammer out the details but the music still retains a reckless abandon that’s missed in much of rock music today. It’s a vitalized picture of what much of the best rock music once represented, pure energy and fervor.
Twins may not exactly pave any new ground for Segall, but it does represent the third highly enjoyable, warped full-length offering with his name on it this year. That he is able to maintain such consistency is an accomplishment in and of itself. Segall may churn this stuff out, but make no mistake, every record of original material he’s released in the last year has been well worth listening to and Twins is no exception.
Stream: Ty Segall – “The Hill”