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Since 2008, Ty Segall has been releasing music at a frenetic pace. His latest effort, Twins, is his sixth solo album in the last four years. It is also the third of his releases in 2012 alone. Last spring, he released the album Hair with the garage-rock band White Fence, and in June, he and his touring lineup, the Ty Segall band, released a feature length album of their own called Slaughterhouse. Segall is absurdly prolific, but the remarkable thing is that all of his releases are good. Very good.
Twins exemplifies the evolution of Segall’s music over the past four years from lo-fi garage punk to a tighter and cleaner sound, though it still maintains the searing edge he’s known for. The record also solidifies Segall’s position as a leader of the garage rock movement, emerging from the pack of countless bands to stand at its forefront, along with the Black Lips.
Segall displays a variety of sounds on Twins, showcasing his range as a musician. The album opens with the devilishly carefree “Thank God for Sinners,” a three minute twanging anthem for the mischievous and rebellious. “Gold on the Shore” offers a more folky, acoustic sound, and “The Hill” features reverberating vocals reminiscent of the vocal technique used in the Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows”. One of the album’s highlights is “Inside Your Heart”. What begins as a slow drawl of a song spectacularly unravels at the end, as distortion seeps in and breaks all pretenses of normality, eventually fading out into a cacophony of wails and screeches.
The best song on the album is Twins’s first single, “You’re the Doctor,” a searing, high-energy power jam which culminates in Segall’s repetitive shouts, “There’s a problem in my brain! There’s a problem in my brain!” The driving guitar riff scorches throughout the song, making it impossible not to nod and jerk your head along with him.
Segall’s last record, 2011‘s Goodbye Bread, was noted as his most approachable (and commercially successful) work to date. Twins combines the polished sound of Segall’s last album with the orotund noise that made his earlier record Melted such a cult phenomenon. In doing so, Twins eludes any specific genre, as Segall seamlessly blends the fast with the slow and incorporates elements of pop, punk, and even folk. In Ty Segall’s case, the issue is not quantity over quality. He somehow manages to pull off both.