The Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse

Ty Segall Band, SlaughterhouseThe Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse
On Ty Segall‘s first major outing of 2012, Hair, his collaboration with White Fence, he opened the door to a hall of mirrors, replete with trick walls and trap doors. Marked by a meandering looseness, it invited listeners in for a leisurely stroll to see the sights and hear the sounds and feel the feelings. This time out, Segall is not so diplomatic. This time out Segall’s mandate is to scorch everything in the vicinity. The onus is on the listener to take or leave what is offered, as Segall leaves precious little room for interpretation of lyrics that are rendered unintelligible beneath all the reverb and distortion. On Slaughterhouse, the recorded debut of Segall’s touring band, he leads listeners down a narrow alley at knifepoint. Steeped in fuzz and violence, Slaughterhouse is the most succinct, cohesive offering to date by the incredibly prolific Segall. More than that, it is a milestone for the burgeoning garage-gsych revival to which Segall has been contributing since the mid-aughts, alongside contemporaries such as the Black Lips and the late Jay Reatard, because, though he pays fealty to his forebears – from Black Sabbath to the Sonics – Segall approaches the canon with playful irreverence and without preciousness. In doing so, he adds to the canon; A rare feat in a genre so referential of – and reverential to – the past, where the line between authenticity and kitsch is razor thin. This conceit is best encapsulated in the band’s almost-cover of garage staple “Diddy Wah Diddy.” The song, written by Blues legends Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley, was famously covered by iconic groups like Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band, the Astronauts, and the Sonics. It tells the tale of a living paradise: a mythical town whose residents and visitors want for nothing. In Segall’s version, played “extra fast” at Segall’s behest, the blustery guitar onslaught and Segall’s frenzied, barely intelligible screams prove unsustainable. As the wheels fall off the song, Segall dismisses the whole affair with a “Fuck this fucking song,” only to end it for good with a final blood-curdling yelp of the song’s title, as the rest of the band chuckles. This type of banter, the back and forth between Segall and his band, is peppered throughout the album, lending it a breezy, live mood. Slaughterhouse is very specifically not a live affair, though. In the absence of applause, it is made clear that the players are both band and audience and therein lies the thrill of Slaughterhouse. It’s a raucousness of the curated variety.
The lack of feedback from a proper crowd does not dampen their enthusiasm one iota because they are thrilled just to be in the moment. On the album highlight, “Wave Goodbye,” a churning act of psychedelic terrorism that culminates with a blistering guitar solo, Segall cannot mask his enthusiasm at nailing the piece and appends the big finish, inadvertently summing up the album, with a rowdy “Fuck! Yeah!” The Ty Segall Band is comprised of frequent collaborators Charlie Moonheart, Emily Rose Epstein, and Mikal Cronin. Their history of collaboration lends a jocular familiarity to the undertaking, which stands in stark contrast to the thrilling and menacing art that resulted from that collaboration.
Rating: 9.6/10
MP3: The Ty Segall Band “Wave Goodbye”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl