Words by Nadia Dar
It’s been just about a year since we heard from Ty Segall, but with the release of his new album, Manipulator, it seems he’s finally ready to revamp the over-distorted, psych-rock sound that he’s become so famous for. The album manages to capture Segall’s signature lo-fi vibes without all of the 70’s space rock that usually comes with it. In my opinion, it’s his best record yet.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that Segall gets major inspiration from genres of psych-rock, glam rock and of course space rock, but with influences as big as David Bowie and Hawkwind, who could blame him? However Manipulator has provided a refreshing change of pace from the typical Segall sound; it offers more structure.
Tracks like ‘It’s Over’ and ‘Feel’ have an immediate fast-paced flow that create a burst of excitement from start to finish. Then you have much more mellow songs like ‘The Singer’ that generate this incredible sinking feeling that just hits your soul like a ton of bricks. It’s a beautiful contrast that normally would’ve been lost under distortion had he completely stuck to his original style.
On the other hand, if you are worried that Segall has completely lost his lo-fi, garage rock roots, never fear! Songs like ‘The Connection Man’, ‘Tall Man, Skinny Lady’ and even the title track all point to the conclusion that the man’s still got it, he’s just trying out some new sounds along the way.
Ultimately, if you were going to listen to one Ty Segall record in your lifetime, let it be Manipulator. Each song manages to incorporate his signature sound in a different light which initially saves the record from becoming repetitive. It was a good move on Segall’s part, and if he keeps it up I can see him staying relevant for a long time.
© August 26th, 2014
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