By Robert Freeman
August 2, 2012
Dirty surfer savant garage wonder child Ty Segall gambles onstage at the Tufnell Park Dome to open with a slightly unexpected anecdote about it being ‘a nice day’ and ‘going for a run’ (ffs bro) before tuning a guitar up and smashing everyone’s faces in with a brutal rendition of ‘Skin.’ It’s rock and roll and blues melodies with a decent helping of seventies punk and eighties hardcore emerging into some kind of aggressive garage lo-fi, but whether it’s the more chilled-out dirge of Goodbye Bread or the aggressive punk of one of his EPs, all Segall’s material has the common aspect of being quite, quite QUITE LOUD LOUD (loud).*
New album Slaughterhouse apparently required more than just Segall on instrumental duties (although one suspects he could make a noisy album with a spoon and a four-track) which presumable contributes to the fact that it is (not to labour a point) SO LOUD. The live experience is as you would expect—head-banging, sweat, shrieks and surf-rhythm—the four-piece (Mikal’s infected foot having recovered xoxo) whip through songs from Melted and a couple of EP tracks, but the majority of the set comprises material from Slaughterhouse. Punchy numbers like ‘I Bought My Eyes’ and ‘What’s Inside Your Heart’ get everybody riled up, and watching Segall finger-banging the shit out of his instrument and Emily Epstein waging a war of attrition against her drum kit, the audience descends into a kind of delirious, swaying sea of bodies. Gradually it becomes hard to distinguish them from the band, crowd surfing, fists pumping, juices mingling.
It’s nice to see them having such a good time though for sure, and swinging between surf guitar riffing, rhythm and blues harmony, and chugging, stoogy power chords, the mixture is very much like a fine cheese—a heady brew of catchiness and brutality. The ‘Satan in space’ pounding of Slaughterhouse is quite enough to get everyone going, and the newly christened ‘Ty Segall Band’ (aka ‘Woah/Party/Beers’) feels very much like a proper outfit. Although it is always nice to know when lo-fi garage guitar legends are looking after their health (hope you enjoyed your run, Ty) but after watching his insane live show one suspects that Ty’s hands, wrists, and neck are all fucked. #swingsandroundaboutsmate