Rising up from San Francisco's underground scene, singer/guitarist/drummer Ty Segall performs as a member of various groups including the Ty Segall Band, White Fence, the Sic Alps and the Perverts. Finally, his latest release — his third of 2012 — could be what gets him above ground.
On Twins, Segall dishes up basement-guitar skronk. His vocal style can sound like John Lennon ("There is No Tomorrow") while his guitar echoes a rough-sounding George Harrison — Beatles with a backbone, you might say. This is the rare full-lengther that starts and ends well — and the middle is damn nice, too.
The album is less garage and more studio than the prolific stomper's earlier recordings. On last year's Goodbye Bread, Segall roared about his exploding head. This time, he wails that he doesn't want to be a "Ghost." Beginning with the snappy "Thank God for Sinners," the music slams purposefully throughout, finishing with the conclusive "There's No Tomorrow." Along the way, his garage squallfest is varied and cohesive, with tracks that are catchy and hooky.
Twins is filled with guitar-dominated heavy rock, so for those predicting rock's demise — look again: Cock rock still lives. Derivative? Yes, but with verve and style. Segall brings surprising rhythmic twists and turns along the way. Even if this is revivalist, it all goes down well. He references the Who ("Who Are You"), Blue Cheer, Led Zep and even Jefferson Airplane, though probably aiming for a cross between Black Sabbath and Hawkwind. The "Love Fuzz" guitar riff could be a slo-mo take-off of Eric Clapton's "Sunshine of Your Love."
Dense, chunky, primal music with stomp, style and urgency, Twins is more sludgy and mid-tempo than Segall's earlier work, but it remains solid, restless music for the young, loud and snotty.