May 25, 2012

TY SEGALL and WHITE FENCE "Hair" LP

     When it comes to making late 60's/early 70's influenced sounds Ty Segall and White Fence come at it from different directions. The former is more known for doing it all snotball; rooted in in the stripped down Back From the Grave suburban garage white boy R&B rawness and the T. Rex groover school of things. The latter a bit more frilly and baroque, touching on sounds that lead to reference points such as the Zombies and Syd Barrett.
     Things Ty Segall and White Fence have in common is a love affair for guitar distortion, a penchant for a clever twist of a musical phrase and a deep rooted belief in analog. Most importantly though is that both have taken their respective "influences" and have used them as springboard to do something different, making their own thing with the sounds instead towing some purist agenda with it. Needless to say when first hearing of a collaboration of the two I thought "Hmmm. This could be interesting."
     And interesting it is. Opening track "Time" first few seconds make one think they are gonna get some Gregorian chant butting heads with some dive bar punk band but then slides into a Neil & Crazy Horse in the desert feeling while Ty's vocal signature hoots and hollers toned into a sleepy eyed John Lennon. Towards the end it abruptly cuts from a walking dazed though a field of wild flowers into a loud and fuzzy bit that, well, sounds like a noisy and fuzzy bit of a Crazy Horse album.
     There are some other moments that, to these ears, remind me of Crazy Horse too, but not so much overtly. It's not like there's a bunch of one note guitar solos or a starving cat looking for a meal "crooning" or anything. There is a locked in looseness in parts though that harkens back to why an albums like Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and Zuma still stand up and fresh compared to many other records that one can find for a few bucks at any used record store, take home to put on the shelf and impress their friends with a huge of collections of "vinyls".
     The room for experimentation through such looseness finds itself in spades on this record, like the album's aforementioned lead off piece a centerpiece of the record is  "Scissor People". It's aberrant take on high strung post garage jitters spotlights a Byrds with no fear of a distortion pedal guitar solo before the second part of of the song bangs through several different moments invoking a sense of aural delirium, skipping records and channel surfing all at once.
     Mostly on the record though you get a the sound of things from both their bag of tricks combined together, shook up and a bending each other ears. "Ezy Rider" tosses around the same sort of melody from one of the top standout's from his Lemons album, "Lovely One", and makes it vibrate a bit more with trippy tremelo and an eye of tasty waves at dawn, "Crybaby" is blues-punk coated in sugar then rolled in shards of glass and "Tongues" is early 70's Beach Boys if someone would've turned them on Amon Duul II.
     Yes! It is a collaboration that is showing itself to be very interesting and quite enjoyable. Hoping these two do more of it in the future.
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