If there’s one thing you should know about Ty Segall, it’s that he can write. Having already released two critically acclaimed LP’s this year, including Hair, the psychedelic rock collaboration with White Fence, and Slaughterhouse, a garage rock record with his touring band, the ambitious Bay Area songwriter has gone for the hat trick and released Twins, his third and final studio album of the year.
With his well-documented affinity for genre mixing, it comes as no surprise that Ty Segall still enjoys playing audio scientist. Blurring the lines between punk and garage rock with psychedelic rock and pop, Twins is no exception to this obsession. On this album Segall has fallen even more in love with distortion and reverb, if that’s even possible for him. Segall adds extra helpings of these auditory textures, cranking the distortion up to “11” during the solo of opener “Thank God For Sinners,” and giving tracks like “Ghost” enough reverb to fill your ears with pure music.
Unlike his previous album, Slaughterhouse, which had an Iggy and the Stooges speed-demon feel to it, the rapid fire tempos are practically non-existent on Twins, aside from “You’re The Doctor.” Instead Segall has focused more towards experimenting with the melodies and toying with strumming guitars and basslines, similar to his direction on Hair. Displaying a seemingly endless array of riffs, Segall pieces the harshly distorted rhythm guitar chops together with hair-raising solos and vocal styles that range from his typical whine-yells to some more romantic crooning, like on the track “Would You Be My Love.” He even makes room for the rich-sounding, full-bodied voice of Brigid Dawson (of Thee Oh Sees) on the record’s blistering single “The Hill.”
Ty Segall – “The Hill” by Drag City
Near the end of the album, Ty Segall throws the listener a curveball. Instead of continuing with melodic noise rock through the end, he pauses with the psychedelic folk track “Gold On The Shore.” With a moderate tempo alongside Segall’s crooning, lo-fi vocals, the song slows down the distortion-driven, chaotic adrenaline rush of the album’s previous tracks. Wrapping yourself in Segall’s warm voice while the song’s colorful, naturalistic imagery flows through your head, it’s an easy track to get lost in. “Sweet summer breeze is out there/these are the showers that wash on the door,” he sings, forming scenes of Segall’s hometown of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s an appropriate palette-cleanser before closing with the droning vocals of “There Is No Tomorrow.”
Twins shows off both sides of Ty Segall’s musical identity. “They Told Me Too” serves as the ideal track for fans craving his rawer, more chaotic persona, while “Would You Be My Love” provides a shelter for those looking for something more melody-driven. The album, however, cannot shake off the feeling that it’s a melting pot of Segall’s previous albums from this year. With Slaughterhouse’s thrashing, feral powers intermeshing with Hair’s warmer, psychedelic tones, Twins is a sign for Segall that something new is necessary. Until then, there’s a catalogue of his albums and collaborations to keep his audience entertained.