Thursday, 5 July 2012

Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse added to 2012 Recommended Albums

Ty Segall has released a number of solo albums over the last few years, but Slaughterhouse is the first under Ty Segall Band. The distinction is significant; this album is huge-sounding, and undouubtebly sets a new precedent for Segall's San Fransiscan garage rock peers.

The basic mix for Slaughterhouse consists of Stooges garage rock, the heavy riffing of Sabbath, and just a pinch of the Cramps' weirdness for flavour. This formula makes it essential. The ultimately terrifying doses of acid psychedelia contemporaries like Thee Oh Sees pump into their music is reduced to a minimum: Segall's experiments in these areas are much more the focus of the other album he's released this year, the White Fence collaboration Hair. Slaughterhouse's heaviness is what sets it apart from the rest of his work so far. It's about as dark and sludgy an album of this style could get, and all of its qualities are reflected in its extremely scuzzy low recording quality. The guitars, bass and drums are never short of oversaturated, and as much as Segall's vocals vary - from high range yelps and screams ("Slaughterhouse"), to deep grouchy Howlin' Wolf reminders ("That's The Bag I'm In") - they usually end up indecipherable. Only when strange Beatles-like melodies are employed ("I Bought My Eyes") can Segall's lyrics be clearly heard.

This is unimporrtant for this record. The recording quality of classic proto-punk LP's such as the Stooges' Funhouse is what gives them such a mythic quality. Incidentally Slaughterhouse could be considered a modern reinterpretation of that album: if the similarities in name and sound aren't enough, consider the ten-minute closing instrumental "Fuzz War" and it's similarities to "L.A. Blues", not to mention the guitar riffs that frequently conjure up the tenacity of the late Ron Asheton.

Delights aplenty are to be found elsewhere on Slaughterhouse. "Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart" lasts under four minutes, but its unstoppable breakneck speed make it feel much longer. It backs onto "Wave Goodbye", an impossibly heavy, brooding tune that begins much slower; its opening bass riff dominating the mood of thee next four minutes or so. But the album doesn't skimp on the fun: surf-rock finds its influence on "Muscle Man", as classic rockabilly does on "The Tounge". The band's cover of Bo Diddley's classic single "Diddy Wah Diddy" ends unfinished, with Segall yelling "FUCK THIS FUCKING SONG!", yet this outtake feels spirited enough to just work in the context of the album.

2012 has so far been full of exceptional rock albums, and Slaughterhouse finds itself easily amongst the pick of the best. It's brutal, visceral but above all fun and engaging, and shows a lot to the numerous other records in this style that come out this time of year. It just rocks, plain and simple. Even if that is a phrase I seem to be repeating. Immediate satisfaction calls for immediate responses.

Click here for the rest of the 2012 Recommended Albums list

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