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17 Jan 2018

Phantom Band “Nowhere” 1984 Germany Electronic Kraut Rock solo project from Jaki Liebezeit (CAN) with Helmut Zerlett

Phantom Band “Nowhere” 1984 Germany Electronic Kraut Rock solo project from Jaki Liebezeit (CAN) with Helmut Zerlett 
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Founder of the legendary krautrock band Can, a very influential, hard-working musician whose drums have a lot of famous names on the albums - Brian Eno , Michael Rother , Holger Czukay , Jah Wobble , David Sylvian , Eurythmics , Depeche Mode , Damo Suzuki and others. 

One less known project under which Jaki was signed was founded in 1980 with the name Phantom Band. They played a blend of krautrocku, jazz, funky, oak style. By 1984 they made three albums. Nominated in 1980, bassist Rosko Gee (member Can and later Traffic), Freedom of Speech (1981) and last and definitely the best Nowhere (1984) helped with the realization . A very important figure on all albums is guitarist Dominik Von Senger, a new wave member of the experimental band Dunkelziffer. This is personally connected to Phantom Band . Try their first three albums, “ Colors And Soul” (1983), “ In The Night” (1984-singingDamo Suzuki ) and “III” (1986-singing Damo Suzuki again ). Then do not forget the two solos of Dominic Von Senger’s “The First” (1983) and “The Second” (1995-dedicated to Dian Fossey’s memorial that protected gorillas in the fog). The entire discography of Phantom Banda is on CD….by Kali..~

In the late 90s, this little promo compilation used to come free with some Can CDs - I’m sure I had three copies at one point. As well as being a decent Can overview, the disc closed with one track from each of the four core members’ 80s work, and one in particular really made me sit up and listen, and buy this album shortly afterwards. That track, a stew of clicking percussion, ominous electronics and mournful spoken vocals, was Weird Love. 

Jaki Liebezeit’s Phantom Band released three albums between 1980 and 1984, of which Nowhere was the third, and was reissued by Can’s Spoon records in 1997. The others, which I don’t have yet, are now available as Bureau B remasters - must get Freedom Of Speech soon, as apparently it’s in a very similar vein to this one. 

Nowhere, then, (or Now Here according to Liebezeit), is a fantastically odd glimpse into what a stripped-down, updated Can might’ve sounded like in ‘84. Thirteen short-ish tracks of murky, echo-laden dub krautrock based around post-NDW guitars and synths, with an distinctive, off-kilter vocalist. In this case, stepping up to the mic was Sheldon Ancel, a former US Armed Forces Network announcer. After an intial groove into outer space, Ancel brings the album’s themes sharply down to earth, with post-industrial workaday drudgery like Planned Obsolescence and Morning Alarm. On the reggae parody Positive Day we get a pisstake of a self-help guru straight out of the 70s/80s self-realization New Age. Highly recommended; for my money Nowhere is by far the most fascinating post-Can artifact, Holger Czukay’s pioneering body of work notwithstanding…..~

Composed By, Arranged By, Words By – Phantom Band 
Drums – Jaki Liebezeit 
Engineer [Processing] – Holger Czukay, René Tinner 
Guitar – Dominik von Senger* 
Keyboards – Helmut Zerlett 
Lacquer Cut By – J.C.* 
Voice – Sheldon Ancel

A1 Loading Zone 3:50 
A2 Planned Obsolescence 1:05 
A3 Mindprobe 2:16 
A4 Morning Alarm 1:58 
A5 Weird Love 2:44 
A6 Neon Man 3:52 
A7 Positive Day 2:57 
B1 Nervous Breakdown 4:56 
B2 The Party 1:32 
B3 George The Spacemonster 2:28 
B4 This Is The Rule 2:28 
B5 Cricket Talk 3:38 
B6 Nowhere 3:06 

Mystic Braves “Days of Yesteryear” 2015 US Psych Garage Rock

Mystic Braves “Days of Yesteryear” 2015 US Psych Garage Rock 
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LA psych outfit Mystic Braves, who look and sound like they were just teleported from 1967, will release their new album, Days of Yesteryear, on November 6. The band made the record with current Brian Jonestown Massacre guitarist Rob Campanella who has also twiddled knobs for Beachwood Sparks, Dead Meadow and others. You can get an early taste via the ringing pop of “Great Company” which makes its premiere in this post. Listen below. 
Mystic Braves are currently on a West Coast tour and headline Bowery Presents-related new LA venue Teragram Ballroom on Friday (9/4) with No Parents. All tour dates, including a stop at Santa Ana’s Beach Goth festival..~

Los Angeles – In the contemporary underground rock scene of Los Angeles, specializing in retro-influenced garage rock like the Mystic Braves do can be a double edged sword: On one hand, there are literally hundreds of thousands of music fans that are completely in love with the sound, a dozen or so community-minded venues which cater heavily to it, a handful of labels like Burger and In The Red that are garage-rock aficionados, and several college radio stations which pack their sets with paisley-indebted rock ‘n roll. On the other hand, there are literally hundreds of bands that operate within this vein of indie rock, making it incredibly difficult for artists to stand out amongst the crowd. 
The key to making a mark and finding an audience in an altogether oversaturated scene is to find something your band is great at, and simply become the best at it. For example, the Allah-Las have perfected the retro-surf sound, the Dum Dum Girls have that greaser-chic motif down pat, Ty Segall went all metallic with Fuzz, and The Growlers just try to be the weirdest dudes at the party. 
Mystic Braves have always occupied a middling profile among those more well-known LA-based bands, never really offering something special that sets them apart. Days of Yesteryear does not see the band making any bold stylistic declaration to separate from the pack, but it does place them at the top of bands faithfully recreating the sounds of the 60’s. While there is not much sonic variety to be found over the course of its 44 minute run time, there are several shifts in tempo and mood that make the album an extremely easy listen that begs for repeat spins. In many ways, Julian Ducatenzeiler, Tony Malacara, Cameron Gartung, Shane Stotsenberg and Ignacio Gonzalez have created what could have been one of 1967’s greatest albums.
Mystic Braves kick things off with “To Myself,” a mournful tune that is cleverly disguised behind bending guitar riffs, jangling rhythms, and a wailing Hammond. The song’s theme only becomes revealed when Ducatenzeile croons the easy-to-understand refrain of: “For I want you for my own / I want you to myself!” The lyricism throughout the album has a simple construction with few metaphors or complicated themes, harkening back to the rock ‘n roll of Yesteryear. 

“As You Wonder (Why)” offers the first curveball of the album, beginning with a spritely flute solo that interjects itself into the mix. The vocal phrasing, return of the flute, and light finger-picking of “Spanish Rain” sees Mystic Braves hitting peak-baroque, putting the listener at ease until around 1:30 into the track. At this point the band transitions into a semi-distorted psych breakdown. Despite the mid-song tempo change, many elements of the first half remain, tying the disparate song pieces together. 

The title of the album could not be more apropos, because Days of Yesteryear contains some of the most direct, uncut reinterpretations of Nuggets-era garage pop songs of the last decade. There are the requisite swirling keyboard lines that complement rich, multi-part vocal harmonies, and the album cover features the quintet looking sharp, dressed to the nines in their finest leisure suits and sporting mod haircuts….by… MATT MATASCI…~

Los Angeles-based psych rockers Mystic Braves might sound like they stepped off a time machine from the 60s, but they’re having the best time as a 60s-inspired band in the modern age, giving psychedelic rock a rebirth. What started out as a hobby turned into something more. Made up of Julian Ducatenzeiler on guitar and vocals, Tony Malacara on bass and vocals, Shane Stotsenberg on guitar and vocals, Cameron Gartung on drums, and Ignacio Gonzalez on organ and tambourine, Mystic Braves decided not to stray away from what Ducatenzeiler describes as “a blend of influence and sound that is unprecedented in contemporary music,” on their newest release Days of Yesteryear. 

“To Myself” begins with a percussive worldly sound, ranging from castanets and tambourine, and a desert-infused sound in the guitar melody. Essentially, the song is a post-heartbreak song; the lyrics deal with the realization that his love interest does not reciprocate the same interest in the singer. The bridge proves interesting with changes in the tempo and feel from a chugging 4/4 to a swinging halftime, and back again. 

Moving along, “No Trash” sounds like an early Tame Impala track from the Innerspeaker days, with whirling guitars and drum fills that resonate in the transitions. “Now That You’re Gone” sounds like a follow-up to the first track; but with more intensity in the percussion and driving forces through the melody instruments. However, instead of a lover breaking up with the singer, it seems that the lover passed away, and the singer is left with no words to properly express his loss. 

“As You Wonder (Why)” introduces us to the jazz flute with an even jazzier beat on the drums. The flute adds that subtle spice to this concoction that we didn’t realize was missing. The layered harmonies on the chorus add a more deep-rooted intensity. “Five-Minute Dream Girl” is certainly the standout track on this album, with lush harmonies and Ducatenzeiler’s soulful melody and amped-up energy. The tambourine never seems to slow down and the organ elevates to a more prominent factor in the songwriting. 

Stepping into mellow territory, “Spanish Rain” seems to be the “Sun’s Coming Up” from Tame Impala’s Lonerism album, where it seems there is one central songwriter and lead in the tune. It’s mellower in the sense of instrumentation and not as experimental in the melody; however, after a complete energetic track previously, this is the breath of fresh air we need. That is, until Gartung pushes into a drum fill that Ringo Starr would usually play on “Get Back”, before launching into a bridge reminiscent of the lushness of Temples’ “Move With the Season.” The track also contains a familiar sense of Love’s “Red Telephone” in melody and chord progression; or trippiness if you’re familiar with this song from the acid trip scene in Taking Woodstock. 

“Corazon” begins the lyrics “Listen to your heart // And you will find the beat // To see where you belong // You need to move your feet,” which the gentle push you need to regain focus and reevaluate your true self to move forward from a struggle. It’s interesting that they use an instrumentally Spanish sound with English lyrics and a Spanish title for the word “heart.” The low-end guitar during the instrumental breakdown sound like a saxophone at first before ranging the melody into its higher register, while the keys on this song are replaced with a ragtime-sounding piano instead of organ. 

Moving into “Down On Me,” the tune begins with the thickest harmonies I’ve yet to hear on this album, and I’m instantly drawn to the track. The track focuses more on the vocals then on instrumentation, and it’s completely okay with me. The guitars seem to burst out during the instrumental break, as if to say “Here I am!” The song picks up tempo and the harmonies remain true to its tightness and fluid motion. To get a better idea, think “Nowhere Man” type harmonies. Even as they slide to another note, they slide together and hit the notes with precision each time. “Great Company” begins with the jangly guitars a punchy snare that resembles Temples’ “Shelter” from their Sun Structures album. The melody could easily be influenced from that song, as the scaling is more on the Indian-style, with a hint of sitar in the background. This track is definitely that most inspired by Indian culture, as if The Beatles dropped a hint of “Tomorrow Never Knows” into its songwriting. The instrumental lead-out at the end with the sitar and guitar proves to be the beautiful romance on this album. 

Days of Yesteryear ends with “Born to Get to You,” which contains similarities to The Growlers in vocal strain. The minor-sounding chord progression with flattened sevenths and sharpened fifths possesses the similar sound to The Beatles’ “Michelle,” while ending the album with the intensity of a bad trip. It’s “Michelle” meets “A Day in the Life” mixed with The Growlers singing. 

This album was very enjoyable to listen to from front to back. I recommend this album for fans of early Tame Impala, Temples, The Growlers, and psych-era Beatles. I hope to see Mystic Braves tour soon, so that I might witness this trip of an album live….By Mandi Kimes….~

A1 To Myself
A2 No Trash
A3 Now That You’re Gone
A4 As You Wonder (Why)
A5 5 Minutes Dream Girl
B1 Spanish Rain
B2 Corazon
B3 Down On Me
B4 Great Company
B5 Born To Get To You 

Phillip Upchurch “Lovin’ Feeling” 1973 US Soul Jazz

Phillip Upchurch “Lovin’ Feeling” 1973 US Soul Jazz
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Phil Upchurch’s sophomore date for Blue Thumb is a move away from the heavy, fuzzed-out, distorted funk of his Cadet sides, and a decidedly more direct move toward the laid-back West Coast sound. Having left Chicago a year earlier, he recorded Darkness, Darkness with Tommy Li Puma and a host of Cali musicians. The texture and easy groove of the music on that album must have agreed with him, because here, on Lovin’ Feeling, he shines by indulging in the smooth grooves with a funkier hand on his fret board. The mood is decidedly a jazzy one, with chunky bits of funk and groove thrown into a smooth, silky mix. Upchurch is a master guitarist, and his sidemen for this date were chosen with great care; he even replaced his own bassist with Lucky Scott from the Curtis Mayfield band. This date also marks the first appearance in Upchurch’s band of future longtime collaborator, pianist, and songwriter, Tennyson Stephens. Plainly put, this is easily one of Upchurch’s finest recorded moments. With the fuzz tones and other noise boxes sidelined, the guitarist has a new opportunity to showcase his deep melodic sensibilities and the chromatic lyricism in his soloing and chord work; without, as he did on Darkness, Darkness, giving up the soulful funkiness that makes his style so unique. Standouts include a massively souled-out read of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (that challenges any vocal version, including the Righteous Brothers’, as definitive) and “Another Funky Tune”: an Upchurch standard. Where strings and sparse horn arrangements frame certain tunes, like the backdrop in “I Still Love You” and “Sitar Soul,” the rhythm section still propels Upchurch into dizzying feats in the cut groove, and in the more up-tempo numbers, where strings are relegated to a back seat for a more keyboard-driven approach, such as in “Washing Machine” and the album’s closer, “You’ve Been Around Too Long.” Upchurch takes his playing into wah-wah-saturated overdrive, creating funk inside of soul and soul inside of funk, then turning them both inside out with raving arpeggios, as dirty grooves come off as clean, sensual fills and cascading skeins of sexy, ringing lines of pure, easy, club-night vibe. Lovin’ Feeling is truly amazing from start to finish: a high point in a career filled with them…. by Thom Jurek….~

One of Phil Upchurch’s best records – and one that’s a no-nonsense batch of funky instrumentals that feature some really great guitar! Phil’s dropped the Hendrix fuzz of some of his Cadet sides of the late 60s – and instead, he’s working in a stretched-out chromatic mode that has bits of Wes Montgomery and George Benson – but which also has some of the more soulful undercurrents of the great O'Donel Levy! The album’s nicely laidback, and never too slick or smooth – and other players include Tennyson Stephens on Fender Rhodes, Lucy Scott on bass, Steve Cobb on drums, and Derf Reklaw on percussion….dusty groove…~

Phil Upchurch - guitars, sitar (electric), vocals, producer
- Tennyson Stephens - electric piano (Fender Rhodes), mellotron
- Lucky Scott - electric bass (Fender)
- Steve Cobb - drums
- Derf Recklaw Raheem - percussion, shaker
- Tom Radtke - bells, tabla 

1. Keep On Trippin’ 
2. Another Funky Tune 
3. Being At War With Each Other 
4. Sitar Soul 
5. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling 
6. I Still Love You 
7. Washing Machine 
8. You’ve Been Around Too Long 

Ty Segall “Ty Segall” 2017 US Psych Garage Rock

Ty Segall “Ty Segall”  2017 US Psych Garage Rock
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For his second self-titled album, Ty Segall—the premier peddler of ‘10s garage rock—hit the studio with a full backing band, including singer/songwriter Mikal Cronin and members of The Cairo Gang and Fuzz. The LP is a 10-track tour through Segall’s various strengths and styles: There’s the mostly acoustic and completely love-bitten “Orange Color Queen,” the swampy groove of “The Only One,” and the many-headed, 10-minute “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned).” A worthy entry in a catalog that continues to spill outward…..~

Back in the ’60s, when bands like the Rolling Stones were averaging three new albums a year, they’d also drop quickie compilations along the way—like High Tides and Green Grass and Through the Past, Darkly—to summarize a particularly prolific period (or just cash-in on more casual fans). As someone who aspires to a ’60s Stones ideal—in terms of both his sheer level of output and his ever-evolving garage-rock aesthetic—Ty Segall is also wont to drop the occasional summary collection that allows the average listener to play catch-up. Except Segall is so restless and relentless, of course, that these compilations actually comprise all new material. 
In the fall of 2012, Segall dropped Twins, an eclectic album that took a tasting-menu approach to the three aesthetically discrete albums that immediately preceded it. Likewise, Segall’s new album feels like a sampler of what he’s been up to in the half-decade since: the melancholic acoustic meditations of Sleeper, the classicist craftsmanship of Manipulator, the Marc Bolan séances of Ty Rex, the diseased, dementoid psych-punk of last year’s Emotional Mugger. Ty Segall is the second self-titled album in his discography (after his 2008 eponymous debut), seemingly because its 10 tracks offer a complete portrait of his many capabilities. But Ty Segall is more than just an easy entry point into his imposing catalog. The new album shows Segall has not only mastered several, stylistically divergent strains of rock—he’s becoming ever more adept at seamlessly stitching them together. 

For someone with roots in a genre—garage-punk—that puts a premium on gritty authenticity, Segall has become increasingly fond of artifice, be it the Bolan-via-Barrett faux British accent that’s become his default vocal tic, the silver-lipstick vamping, or his use of Emotional Mugger as a vehicle to masquerade as a surrogate band and terrorize morning news programs. And that mischievous zeal is the glue that ultimately holds this album’s disparate pieces together, particularly when they collide in the same song. Bulldozing opener “Break a Guitar” forges a holy communion between Big Star melody and Black Sabbath brawn, and its cocksure attitude spills over to the stripped-down follow-up, “Freedom,” a scrappy, acoustic-powered number that recalls John Lennon’s frantic Abbey Road curio “Polythene Pam.”
But that’s not the only move Segall has cribbed from the second side of that Beatles classic. “Freedom” immediately gives way to an epic sequel, “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned),” a 10-minute multi-sectional suite that ricochets between warped glam-folk, proto-metal ferocity, sneering British Invasion swagger, overdriven fuzz-punk, and a jazzy guitar jam that attempts to out-Santana the Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” It’s the most ambitious, audacious piece of music Segall has ever produced, but he whisks through the song’s train-like structure with such manic glee that this colossal track ultimately feels as brisk and economical as a seven-inch single. 

Given that it’s dropped early on in the No. 3 slot, “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)” casts a long shadow over the rest of the album—in its wake, even the sludgy stomper “The Only One” and the wild, glass-smashing roadhouse rave-up “Thank You Mr. K” feel a bit rote in comparison. But Segall wisely balances his most epic gestures to date with his most intimate, as Ty Segall’s back half yields the prettiest, most pristine pop songs he’s ever written: “Orange Color Queen” is a mash note to his girlfriend rendered in T. Rex’s mystic-lady language; the piano-rolled “Papers” wraps the album’s catchiest chorus around a cluttered-desk scene straight out of a late-’60s Kinks album. And on “Take Care (to Comb Your Hair),” Segall shrewdly builds a deceptively hippy-dippy folk song into a Who-sized barrage of finger-slicing windmill strums and kit-toppling drum rolls, effortlessly bridging the troubadour and trouble-maker sides of his personality. 

Of course, Segall can’t help but follow up these handsomely packaged songs with “Untitled,” which is really just a four-second blurt of guitar noise that closes the album with all the subtlety of a fart let out in the most crucial moment of a wedding ceremony. But that throwaway gag nonetheless serves as a reminder of Segall’s most essential quality: his refusal to settle. Rather than chart a typically linear course from raw to refined, Segall has constructed a discography more like a zig-zagging thrill ride liable to careen off into any direction. And whether it’s the jarring track-to-track juxtapositions or within the shape-shifting songs themselves, Ty Segall shows that, nearly a decade into the game, the only predictable thing about Segall is his ability to continually surprise….by Stuart Berman…Pitchfork…~

At his best, Ty Segall is a master songwriter trapped in the body of a punk — although the limitations of his garage-inflected rock actually keep him grounded and focused rather than restricted. The California bandleader’s prolific output over the past decade has grown increasingly ambitious in its own humble and rough-hewn way; at the same time, he refuses to set aside the gnarled riffs, spilled booze and busted knuckles of his most blistering work. That hasn’t changed on his latest album (his second, after one in 2008, to bear the name Ty Segall). What’s different is an even more ardent attempt at confining chaos and squeezing catchy, catastrophically massive pop gems out of it. 
“Break A Guitar” busts the album wide open right at the outset, as it harnesses a thunderous glam-rock stomp that barely conceals huge hooks and Segall’s supple, helium-infused melodies. “Take my guitar / I’ll be at the bar,” he sings at the end, adding a Replacements-esque twist to an otherwise swaggering demonstration of rock 'n’ roll overconfidence. The distortion grows even more corrosive in “The Only One,” whose dueling guitar leads (between Segall and his longtime second guitarist Emmett Kelly) erupt gloriously into a fugue of frenzied abandon. “Thank You Mr. K” ups the ante even further, succumbing to a psychedelic-meets-hardcore attack that chugs along at the breakneck speed of a bad, bleak trip. 
But Ty Segall does more than throttle and thrash. “Talkin’,” a pointed parable about self-absorption, is wrapped in softly strummed acoustic guitars. “Orange Color Queen” picks up on the same vibe, but with a more reflective bent; like a daydream on a rowboat in the middle of a slow-moving river, the song meanders through a vivid landscape of heartache while Segall does his best impression of a warbling angel. Mikal Cronin, the group’s bassist (and an excellent bandleader in his own right), joins Segall on vocals in “Take Care (To Comb Your Hair),” another acoustic song whose plaintive, plucky tendencies shift deliriously from folky tenderness to needling, fuzzed-out riffage by song’s end. 
The album’s most ambitious moments, though, appear in “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned).” At 10-plus minutes, it’s a break from Segall’s standard three-and-a-half-minute hand grenades; heroically, it doesn’t waste a second in its pursuit of pop-history synthesis, starting out as a paint-peeling ball of snarling menace before dissolving into a wonderfully sparse, spacious jam. “Papers” may not be as ambitious, lengthwise, but it stretches Segall’s canvas in a different way. Keyboardist Ben Boye’s piano is given a more prominent spot in the complex arrangement, and the entire song reflects a Beatles-like sense of sophistication, complete with cryptic lyrics and elusive melancholia. Segall’s role models are still as plain as day — Marc Bolan, Ray Davies and Syd Barrett chief among them — but on Ty Segall, he’s taken yet another strong step toward turning retroactive garage rock into high art….by Jason Heller…~

The Californian rock’n’roll auteur keeps it simple – for once 

You’d forgive oddball Californian auteur Ty Segall for wanting to wipe the slate clean and start again. Over eight solo albums in as many years, plus nine collaboration records, 
he’s veered as wildly around 
the rock underground as 
Boris Johnson has around international relations. Cranky garage rock, experimental psych pop, 
nu glam, neo country and 
music he himself has described as “Satan in space” – Segall’s been all over the nether regions of alternative music. 

So for album nine, Segall steps back, self-titles an album for the first time since his 
2008 debut and, to help 
us catch up, goes back to basics. Pretty much. Besides a 10-minute garage psych sprawl called ‘Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)’ that sounds like 
The White Stripes collaborating with Hawkwind on a new thrash-blues song cycle for the climax of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 
this is a punchy half-hour summary of Segall’s stylings so far, with a ‘White Album’ buzz to it. Opener ‘Break 
A Guitar’ is a 
fine example of 
his gutter-glam side, like the lycanthropic Bowie of ‘Diamond Dogs’ running feral around Hunger City; ‘Freedom’ is the same on a sugar rush. Come ‘Talkin’’, he’s kicking 
back for a spot of porch-swing country, and ‘Thank You Mr K’ 
is skewiff Segall garage pop 
at its finest, complete with 
a bit in the middle where he stops and smashes up his flat. 
Where like-minded Californian indie rock artists like Thee Oh Sees and Ariel Pink often set 
out to challenge and alienate with such sounds, Segall 
is closer aligned here to 
more melodic types such as Christopher Owens, Kurt Vile and the solo albums by Segall’s guitarist Mikal Cronin. The folkier, T Rex-ish final third of ‘Ty Segall’ features ‘Orange Color Queen’, a tender love song to his redheaded partner Denée Petracek, and 
the ‘Cry Baby Cry’ rewrite 
‘Take Care (To Comb Your Hair)’ – not a sentiment, let’s face it, that comes up too often in the US indie scene. Scraping off the garage 
rock grit and disjointed sharp edges that characterised his 
previous album ‘Emotional Mugger’ for this definitive self-portrait, Segall scrubs 
up great.…Mark Beaumont..NME…~

LAST HEARD GIVING HIS inner punk a Black Flag-style thrashing with hardcore crew Gøggs, Ty Garrett Segall’s ninth solo album finds him back on far less aggressive form. Still grounding his sound in the fertile topsoil of the late 1960s and early ’70s, he weaves hard rock, psych, glam and pop into a vibrant patchwork whirl that borrows liberally from the likes of Marc Bolan and The Beatles, David Bowie and Big Star. Stunt-plane solos and chunky riffs electrify Break A Guitar and The Only One, while acoustic cues and minor-key mellowness hold sway across Orange Color Queen, Papers and Take Care (To Comb Your Hair). With Segall’s magic touch shining brightly throughout, this eponymous offering once again demonstrates his effortless, and seemingly innate, ability to make the familiar feel fresh and enticing. …..By Andrew Carden…Mojo…~

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 baroque “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…. by Tim Sendra…allmusic….~

Ty Segall is suitably prolific for a garage rockstar – he has put out a solo album almost every year for the past decade, not to mention a raft of collaborations. Also in keeping with the unselfconsciousness of his chosen genre is the fact that there doesn’t seem to have been much progression: this Ty Segall, his second self-titled album, pedals back from the raucousness and heavy distortion of his last record proper, Emotional Mugger, and resumes the peppy but still relatively gnarly sound of 2014’s Manipulator. It’s a zany but melodically substantial record, in which the best songs (Thank You Mr K, Freedom) sit somewhere between the oeuvres of the Lemonheads and the Ramones. In 2015, Segall also released an album of scratchy and slightly unhinged T Rex covers, and that glam fandom surfaces on the thick riffs and stomping beat of Break a Guitar. This is by no means zeitgeisty music, but it’s gratifying even Aroesti…The Guardian…~

Ty Segall could be forgiven for simply wanting to be himself. Rather than steadily hone a signature sound, Segall has used each new release to giddily leapfrog between rock ‘n’ roll subgenres with disorienting speed and finesse. 
On 2013’s Sleeper, Segall turned off his amps to try his hand at an honest folk record. The next year’s Manipulator saw him summoning the ghosts of Bowie and Bolan as a glam-rock mystic. This time last year, Segall was donning a screaming baby mask during live shows to further heighten the disturbing and chaotic horror punk of Emotional Mugger. 
Perhaps as a welcome sign of clarity, the just-released Ty Segall features no such overarching concepts, themes or consistent styles. Instead, these nine songs (10 only if you count the untitled concluding guitar belch) distill his many talents into his most concise album in years. 
Opener “Break A Guitar” is a ripping statement of purpose, the kind of bombs-away rock ‘n’ roll fans can always depend on Segall to unleash, regardless of which genre he’s tinkering with. 
This first track also provides a suitable introduction to Ty’s latest band. Charles Moothart reprises his role behind the drumkit as does Mikal Cronin on bass and Emmett Kelly on guitar. Newcomer Ben Boye, with credits on records by Angel Olsen and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, contributes keys. 
The album’s secret weapon comes in the not-so-subtle touch of ordained punk saint Steve Albini, who recorded and mixed the record in his Electrical Audio studios in Chicago. It’s a wonder Segall hasn’t requested Albini’s help before, as his crisp, low-end heavy touch forces the crushers to flatten and the gentler songs to ring bell clear. 
While Albini’s touch allows the crunching tenacity of “The Only One” and combustible licks of “Freedom” to truly pummel, it’s openhearted lead single “Orange Color Queen” that really steals the show. 
Over lyrics bursting with candy-coated metaphors directed at Segall’s girlfriend, the mid-fi production and tasteful instrumentation create a new benchmark for the singer’s future ballads. 
While that song and other quieter moments like “Papers” stand out well on their own, Ty Segall also features “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned),” the longest, most volcanic song the rocker has constructed since his days in the Slaughterhouse. 
If Segall’s breakneck output over the past 10 years has at some point left you bored or winded, consider this self-titled record a worthy re-entry point. While far from a masterpiece, Ty Segall provides a neatly packaged summary for why the singer is a modern rock ‘n’ roll treasure…..By Reed Strength …~

Musical mission statement, self-imposed milestone, alter-ego autobiography: The eponymous LP plays an invaluable role in contextualizing an artist’s discography, as well as their identity writ large. Take Ty Segall’s self-titled 2008 debut: In addition to offering an introductory overview to the multi-instrumentalist’s wide-eyed, stomping fuzz-rock, the record provided invaluable insights into the cornerstones comprising the Californian’s frazzled philosophy—nostalgia, simplicity, spontaneity, self-sufficiency. 

Segall’s prolific output over the ensuing nine years–eight albums, two dozen singles and EPs, a host of side projects and production work on the side–has shaded in this initial snapshot of a one-man rock machine armed with a mean collaborative streak and a wide array of influences, from hardcore and classic rock to acoustic folk and free-wheeling noise.With the tenth anniversary of his eponymous opening salvo drawing ever closer, it’s only fair that Segall would want to give his bio an update, with the help of some friends. 

Enter Ty Segall #2, a work defined equally by self-portraiture and groupthink, as well as a departure from past praxis. Where previous albums found Segall holed up in the studio, assembling each song track-by-track, Ty Segall was recorded live with a band made up of his longtime collaborators: bassist Mikal Cronin, guitarist Emmett Kelly, drummer Charles Moothart and pianist Ben Boye. Considering how frequently (and effectively) Segall plays with others, such a framing method—which the artist has highlighted in interviews as the album’s defining trait—scans more as a no-brainer than a profound paradigm shift. Nevertheless, it’s a necessary addendum, with enjoyable, if predictable, results.
Excepting Boye, all of the aforementioned musicians chipped in during Emotional Mugger, last year’s noise-ridden tantrum of an LP. And yet Ty Segall’s resultant din sounds streamlined, a conscious callback to the tightly-controlled chaos found on the Kinks and T. Rex records he devoured as a Laguna Beach youngster, all adenoidal harmonies and glam breakdowns. Listening to compression-heavy, crisp-sounding cuts like “Freedom” and “Orange Color Queen”, you’d never guess that noise-rock icon Steve Albini was sitting behind the boards, or that Ty Segall was released in 2017 as opposed to 1977. The band take care to maintain this temporal illusion from strutty start (“Break A Guitar”, decidedly un-punkish in spite of the name) to head-scratching finish (a 13-second untitled track comprised of a count-in, some half-assed noodling, and little more). 

They’re not above mucking it up, of course. Lest his invocation of Bowie’s ghost on “Talkin’” and “The Only One” scan as a xerox, Segall scribbles his signature solos all over the tracklisting, mixing the grit with the glitter (a methodology he perfected on 2012’s Slaughterhouse, this album’s closest antecedent in his discography). A little ways past the halfway mark, the proceedings unravel in a spectacular fashion on “Thank You Mr. K,” the verse-chorus-verse express derailed by a looming psychedelic freakout that eventually comes to batshit fruition. Just six minutes later, he’s placid as can be, pontificating about the perils of hair loss (a quaint, if obvious, metaphor for aging) on the acoustic ballad “Take Care (To Comb Your Hair).” 

Determined as he may be to stay the course, Segall is undoubtedly well aware that his torrential creative streak could come to a screeching halt at any moment, be it by the hand of the Reaper, the Man, or himself. And so he chugs forth on all cylinders, as he did nearly a decade ago: shaped by his solitary, reverent past, fueled by a camaraderie-rooted present, already deep in the process of plotting album number ten. While Ty Segall may not be his opus, but it’s certainly a testament to his fruitful brain and the unparalleled output that spills forth from it—a mind on a marathon, yet to stumble….by…Zoe Camp…~

There are historical precedents for a prolific artist like Ty Segall. Poet and garage rock imp Billy Childish has, since the late ‘70s, released dozens of albums and singles with an assortment of associates from the UK underground scene. And Segall’s buddy and occasional collaborator John Dwyer set the template in the ‘90s with projects like Coachwhips, OCS, and the runaway train that is Thee Oh Sees. 

But in our current musical marketplace, the level of activity that Segall and his cohorts engage in seems both an attempt to harness a creative wellspring and an economic necessity. It often feels like unless they’re filling stadiums or have the winds of hype in their sails, musicians today run the risk of drowning in the world’s cultural wake if they aren’t constantly producing. 

If Segall has such concerns, he’s never copped to them. He, instead, seems driven more by the guilelessness of his age (not yet 30 as of this writing) and working with similarly keyed-up and busy friends like King Tuff, Mikal Cronin, and members of the Cairo Gang. There’s a restlessness to him as well, a desire to make sure that his next project, whether it’s a solo album or something like GØGGS, his side project with Charlie Moothart of Fuzz and Chris Saw of Ex-Cult, is in some way different than anything he’s done before. 

In the case of this new self-titled album, Segall is letting go of the reins somewhat. Rather than recording most everything himself, he brought in most of The Muggers, the band that backed him on tour through much of 2016, and captured their work live in the studio. That lends this recording an immediacy that sometimes gets stifled in even some of Segall’s most brash efforts, like last year’s Emotional Mugger and 2014’s The Manipulator. On those albums, the separation of instruments was apparent. Here, even during their more subdued moments (the psych-pop lead single “Orange Color Queen”, the loping folk of “Talkin’”), you can’t escape the impact of the full band. 

Segall’s brand of artistic abundance doesn’t leave a whole lot of room or time for marked growth. Great as Ty Segall is and as rich as the record sounds, it also serves to meet expectations rather than exceed them. All of Segall’s musical obsessions are on display: hair-flipping hard rock (“The Only One”, fist-pumping opener “Break a Guitar”), bubblegum-adjacent psychedelia (“Take Care [To Comb Your Hair]”), punk, and an epic-length number that attempts to combine all of the above (“Warm Hands [Freedom Returned]”). 

Even when he doesn’t break new ground, Segall and Ty Segall remain solid investments. There’s definitely something to be said for getting exactly what you pay for with a new album. And if he can guarantee anything, it’s that these songs are going to sound incredible when he and his band play them live on their upcoming tour. 

That, again, raises one of the biggest questions about the nature of today’s prolific artists: How can we expect them to evolve while they’re stuck in the album-tour-album-tour cycle? Since the economic realities of the music industry aren’t going to change any time in the near future, it might make sense to lower our expectations and simply enjoy what folks like Segall and his cohorts have to offer….by Robert Ham…~

Bass – Mikal Cronin 
Drums, Percussion – Charles Moothart 
Guitar, Vocals – Emmett Kelly, Ty Segall 
Piano – Ben Boye 

1 Break A Guitar 3:38 
2 Freedom 2:07 
3 Warm Hands (Freedom Returned) 10:21 
4 Talkin’ 3:51 
5 The Only One 3:54 
6 Thank You Mr. K 2:52 
7 Orange Color Queen 3:04 
8 Papers 3:00 
9 Take Care (To Comb Your Hair) 3:07 
10 Untitled 0:12 


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