Ty Segall continues his recent prolific music catalog with the enticingly energetic Live in San Francisco. A live album would seemingly be right up Segall’s alley, with his garage-rock ethos and lo-fi acoustic approach and be assured that Live in San Francisco does not disappoint. Segall takes his signature heavily distorted guitar riffs and combines them with aft songwriting skills for an album that captures the anticipatory energy of his live performance.
Live in San Francisco takes more than a few pages from 60’s and 70’s proto-punk and intertwines that influence with arena rock of the same era. The aptly titled “Slaughterhouse” sounds like an ode to the Raw Power-era Stooges, while the longer “Feel” gives a longer period for Segall to noodle around on guitar. The lead guitar is particularly good for the entire album, but what else would you expect from Segall at this point? In an era where the over-long solo is frowned upon in the current music scene an act that can bring front and center in a way without drowning out the dynamics of the ensemble is truly commendable.
Segall has been producing a steady stream of quality content on a regular basis for a while now and Live in San Francisco does not break his stretch. However, following an album of the quality that Manipulator was perhaps makes the album come off more poorly than it should. Live in San Francisco is a good solid album of content, but it does not have the complexity of Segall’s previous album and that is all right. For an album that captures the essence and energy of the proto-punk movement a simpler approach is fitting. The feeling of an old 70’s live album is also present, complete with songs turning into jam. Live in San Francisco truly re-creates the live experience, how much you like that may depend on how much you like 6 minute jam session instrumental songs.