Rick McNulty hosts Left of the Dial on Fridays, 7-11 pm. Follow him on Twitter @Rick_Daddy
Ty Segall’s eight album, Emotional Mugger, is my kind of psych-rock — dirty fuzzed out guitars competing with a deranged sounding frontman who’s somewhere between Iggy Pop and Ozzy Osbourne. There are times where the music (especially the vocals) feels like it was deliberately sped up, which is remarkable considering that the record remains sludgy and thunderous.
Segall has been prolific since he began recording eight years ago, averaging an album per year under his own name, plus several others side projects and diversions (Fuzz, Sic Alps, T-Rex cover albums, as well as collaborations with Mikal Cronin). And yet he continues to write material that is fresh despite relying on riff rock — not an easy trick (just ask AC/DC). Segall doesn’t immediately devalue the material either: he waits a few months before streaming his new records (though someone uploaded the entire album to YouTube; see link below). My favorites, though I can’t link you to them, are Squealer, Californian Hills, Diversion, Mandy Cream, Candy Sam, and Squealer Two.
As an added bonus, his current tour has been a rock ‘n’ roll free-for-all with reports of unruly and confrontational behavior onstage and likewise inspiring the audience into a frenzy. Oh, and saliva. Lots of saliva (find out for yourself at the Mohawk this Friday night). Segall is behaving like a madman (while wearing a distinctly unsettling baby mask) as his comrades Cronin and Kyle Thomas (King Tuff to you and me) splatter their sweat and grunge all over the stage. The concert reviews from the west coast have been fascinating, ranging between alarm and awe.
In the meantime, you’ll understand a lot more if you watch the following performance from KEXP last month. For a good laugh, check the sequence leading up to the band introductions around 11:25:
Stream the album on YouTube: