Review : Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse
PitchforkNearly 40 years on from their initial, unceremonious flameout, the Stooges have been thoroughly absorbed and accepted into the pop-cultural mainstream in ways that would've seemed nigh unimaginable in the early 1970s. Beyond blazing the trail for punk and the subgenres that arose in its wake, their songs have been covered by stadium-rock giants, featured in videogames, successfully mashed-up with Salt N Pepa, soundtracked Kristen Stewart/Dakota Fanning make-out scenes in big-screen biopics, and used to sell Chryslers. But it's no coincidence that all of these middlebrow appropriations draw from the band's 1969 self-titled debut and 1973's Raw Power-- by Stooges standards, the albums you're most likely to reach for when entertaining house guests.
The band's infamous 1970 sophomore release, Funhouse, has remained largely undisturbed by the music supervisors of the world, because, as even casual Stooges fans know, you just don't fuck with Fun House. It isn't simply a collection of classic proto-punk songs, it's a very real, physical, suffocating space. It's an album in which you get locked and trapped, and from which you reemerge a different person. Over the course of its 36 minutes, Iggy Pop's temperament is gradually debased from the cocksure swagger of opener "Down on the Street" to the screaming, strait-jacketed psychosis of the closing "L.A. Blues". It's an album that even one of the most absurdly over-the-top box sets in rock history couldn't decode or demystify.
But if Fun House is like that creepy dilapidated domicile at the end of the street, the Ty Segall Band are the neighborhood punks who break into it late at night just for kicks, spray paint the walls, and leave behind a small mountain of empty beer cans. Now, the Ty Segall Band are not the Stooges; their full-throttle, pedal-squashing thrust makes no allowances for the Stooges' underrated sense of groove and funk, and Segall is way more of a sucker for pop melody than Iggy ever was. But Slaughterhouse sees them redrafting the Fun House floor plan for their own devious devices: there's that evocative title, for one, and the fact that both albums end with extended, free-form noise meltdowns (in Segall's case, the self-explanatory "Fuzz War"). But most of all, they've vividly captured Fun House's unapologetic griminess, blast-furnace heat, and panic attack-inducing lack of oxygen....full text
GetbentIf anyone thought Mr. Segall was going senile on them with last year’s relatively mellow Goodbye Bread, they need only to listen to opening track “Death” and maybe grab some earplugs. Nearly a minute of skull-crushing feedback passes before Segall declares himself king in a spaced-out death drone. “I Bought My Eyes” is another marvelous balance of teetering feedback, melodic shredding and head-banging cymbal crashes. ”Slaughterhouse” is a less than two minute explosion of howls and distortion that sounds more like Lemons/Goner-era Segall.
Segall has long had an affinity for experimental psych-blues god Don Van Vliet and he does his best guttural Captain Beefheart on “That’s the Bag I’m In” before breaking into an all-out scream as the song growls into the next track. “Diddy Wah Diddy” is probably a Bo Diddley cover as done by Beefheart (who also covered it along with the Sonics) but the vocals really are at times indecipherable. Either way, it’s a killer track that matches the savageness of any early Reatards record. “Fuzz War” is the epic ten minute finale that could’ve been used to score Prometheus or just about any horror movie torture scene. It’s “Interstellar Overdrive” on bath salts, doom-sludge-space-metal for necromancers. Segall said he wanted to really ruffle some feathers with this one and he has definitely succeeded. From Hawkwind to the Stooges and every fuzzy place between, Slaughterhouse is not for the faint of ear. And to be fair, no Ty Segall record ever has been....full text
MusicomhSo instructs Ty Segall before his band stumbles into the driving riff of Diddy Wah Diddy, a gloriously ramshackle, urgent track tucked away towards the end of Slaughterhouse, Segall's second full length release this year. No more than two minutes in and the song has all but collapsed around his fevered yelps as he strains above the din to make his increasingly deranged, seemingly improvised, lyrics heard.
The untamed, impromptu feel of Diddy Wah Diddy pervades the entirety of Slaughterhouse. It's a microcosm of the album as a whole: gleefully dumb, spontaneous, catchy and really fucking loud.
Following his more subdued recent releases - Hair, recorded in collaboration with White Fence earlier this year and Goodbye Bread, his last solo record - Segall sounds entirely reinvigorated on Slaughterhouse, and it's an injection of life symptomatic of the context in which the record was produced.
This is the first album Segall has recorded with his regular touring band, and the chemistry between the group's members is nothing short of electric. With a sound not far removed from that of 60s garage rockers The Sonics (had only they had been raised on healthy servings of Steve Albini instead of 50s rock'n'roll) the Ty Segall Band produce a joyful cacophony of crunching guitars and thrashing drums atop their front man's unpredictable half sung, half screamed delivery....full text
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