By Kenny McMurtrie
Ty Segall is one of those artists for whom the word prolific is an understatement. Over the last seven years he’s turned up in around half a dozen bands, released numerous singles and albums with those as well as solo, and has three albums for release in 2012, of which Slaughterhouse is the second. Leaning more towards spacerock than the typically garage sound of previous works, this is the sound of a guy way too young to get old anytime soon and as such simply an infectious rock record.
Given the album’s title, it’s fitting that the first track is called ‘Death’. Squalling guitar feedback ushers you in for the first minute (a musical death?) before the song proper sprints into its stride like a teenage version of early Hawkwind, all gangly limbs and phasing and distortion with some horrific howls and plenty of thrashing and solos. At this point you’ll be turning up the volume. More basic in its construction is ‘I Bought My Eyes’ which pushes an emotional button or two with wholly clear vocals and a good measure of “oooh, oooh, ooohs” amongst the axe strangling.
Man-at-bottom-of-well is the effect applied to Segall’s vocals on the title track, a real choppy and thrashed up number wherein he sounds completely out of his mind. Just as film remakes are often redundant (do we really need a new version of Highlander?) so cover versions can be a close run thing and the garage genre probably has a worse history in this regard than many other types of music (think of all those ‘Hey Joe’s and ‘Louie, Louie’s etc. that it was built on). But Segall has a reasonable track record in this regard (2011’s Ty Rex ep decently dirtied up a few Marc Bolan numbers) and so the version of ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’ included here as track nine can safely stand alongside Captain Beefheart’s. Loosely jammed through in what may originally have been just a letting off of steam or a practice run, it benefits from a fresh approach that doesn’t place it on a pedestal.
After that there’s just time for the full-on workout of ‘Oh Mary’ before the disappointing overindulgence of the 10 minute ‘Fuzz War’ which takes the path trodden by so many overrated Japanese noisemongers rather than that of the likes of Mogwai and so fails to make anything remotely interesting sounding from the 6 string masturbation. Apart from that though I really liked this.