Best of 2012: Ty Segall

Prolific yet unpredictable, Ty Segall is a standard bearer for the most recent group of artists who have managed to resuscitate garage rock and punk, genres that some thought had already been mined of all their freshness by several previous such returns. The Ty Segall Band’s In the Red release Slaughterhouse is one of three recordings on which Segall appears in 2012: he also recorded Twins under his own name via Drag City and Hair with White Fences.

 

There’s little doubt that Iggy Pop and the Stooges are patron saints of Segall and company. The singer’s throaty cries also channel Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Eric Burdon in places. Yes, he has collected the right records; but Segall’s isn’t living the garage punk experience secondhand. The seemingly restless creativity that fuels his prolific streak also inhabits the nervous energy and chaotic spirit of Slaughterhouse, Twins, and Hair. All three recordings exude a swaggering ebullience that can’t be faked or finessed by hype proliferators.

 




Rangda: “Majnun” (SoundCloud)

Out today on Drag City, Formerly Extinct, the sophomore release from Rangda. Guitarists Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance), and drummer Chris Corsano (Sunburned Hand of the Man) have enough studio credits between them to earn the designations “formative players” in both the psych rock and no wave arenas.

Below, we’ve included a SoundCloud embed of album track “Majnun.” Its outer sections set up a fulsome, Middle Eastern inflected groove, while the central section includes plenty of crunching guitar riffs leavened with walls of noise.

Alexander Tucker: Third Mouth (CD Review)

Alexander Tucker

Third Mouth

Thrill Jockey

Alexander Tucker’s career began rustically and experimentally, with reference points ranging everywhere from folk inspired alternate tunings for acoustic guitar to doom metal drones. For a while during the aughts, it seemed as if his output was inexorably drifting further and further away from the immediacy of conventional song format in favor of more extended and out there meditations. Over the past couple years, as evidenced in his 2011 release Dorwytch (Thrill Jockey), Tucker has been seeking a rapprochement between aspects of popular song and the psych-drone cum prog-folk aesthetic he’s cultivated.  He takes this approach on Third Mouth, his latest recording for Thrill Jockey, as well.

A particular way in has been an expansion of his use of vocal harmonies, including overdubbed vocals and the participation of vocalists Frances Morgan and Daniel O’Sullivan (the latter also plays a variety of instruments on the recording). And there are even two cuts that clock in at three minutes with memorable choruses. No one will mistake them for straightforward pop; the layered arrangements still hold true to Tucker’s penchant for sumptuous timbral complications. That said, there’s a beauty in the simplicity of their melodic construction, which proves to be a unifying thread and straightforward thrust in the midst of various textural peregrinations, however lovely sounding these may be.

Those devotees of Tucker’s earlier work who may be fearful that this modification of his approach inherently means an adieu to freeform experimentation needn’t worry. Third Mouth also contains several longish compositions, and “Amon Hen,” an aphoristic piece of Waits/Partch inspired experimentation, too. “Glass Axe” has a pastoral cast while “Rh” indulges a more psych-drone ambience. And while both of these can also be said to be led by the vocals, in the former taking on the presence of a bona fide hook while in the latter being framed as an almost chant like refrain, the instrumental touches – glorious chords in alternate tunings, spacey reverberation, long held drones, and flashes of dissonance nicking each piece with slight distressing around the edges – remind one of the totality of Tucker’s sonic journey.

FRKWYS Vol. 9: “Happy Song” (Soundcloud)



Who thought up the idea of of bringing together Los Angeles post-psychedelic artists M. Geddes Gengras and Sun Araw with famed Jamaican reggae vocal group the Congos to record on the latter’s home terrain? Judging by the first track shared via their label’s Soundcloud page (embed below), “Happy Song,” this is yet another inspired collaboration in FRKWYS’ series of inspired collaborations.



From FRKWYS Vol. 9 – Sun Araw & M. Geddes Gengras meet The Congos – ICON GIVE THANK.

Available April 10th, 2012 from RVNG Intl.

www.igetrvng.com

Released by: RVNG Intl.
Release/catalogue number: FRKWYS09
Release date: Apr 10, 2012

The Marble Vanity: “You Can’t Step on a Rainbow” (Stream)

The Marble Vanity has a new 7″ single (on now on Slow Fizz via Drag City). You can sample a sunny psych-pop track via the embed below from their Bandcamp page below.