Anyone following the career of Ty Segall knows he likes to work fast and he's super-prolific, cranking out album after album of blown-out noise and scuzzy garage rock chunks. It seemed like 2016's Emotional Mugger had barely stopped spinning before he had another record ready and on the shelves.
Where that album had featured Segall mostly alone in the studio bashing through a rousing batch of twitchy, synth-blasted songs, for Ty Segall he gathered up members of his live band, including Mikal Cronin, and added the Cairo Gang's Emmett Kelly on guitar before hitting the studio to record in full-band format.
The addition of Kelly provides an extra jolt of fiery guitar work on the screaming, metallic rockers like "Break a Guitar" and "Freedom," as well as some lovely harmony vocals and jangle on the songs that owe much to the folk-rock end of the garage spectrum.
Tracks like the loping "Talkin'," the sweet-as-sugar "Orange Color Queen," and the trippy, very Byrds-ian "Papers" all show off a softer side of Segall, and much of that is likely down to Kelly's presence. Unlike many Segall albums that can seem a little one-dimensional, these songs make the album feel very rich and diverse.
The ten-plus-minute jazz-metal freakout jam "Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)" helps out in that regard too, and really spotlights the "full band in the studio" nature of the record. For anyone who wanted only the buried-in-the-red, ear-singeing rockers Segall does so well, there are definitely plenty of those here, so don't worry about that. The paint-peeling "Thank You Mr. K" fits the bill and even features the sound of the studio being smashed up in the middle, "The Only One" sounds like Black Sabbath played by bratty SoCal punks and features some thrilling guitar interplay, and the super-hooky "Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)" combines the folk-rock leanings and gutter punk guitars into the highlight of the album.
Ty Segall works so much and so fast it's amazing that every record he puts out is worth hearing, if only to see if he's finally run out of gas and/or ideas. One jaunt through the bracing and surprisingly sweet at times Ty Segall is proof enough that he's run out of neither, and it doesn't seem like he will anytime soon