Ty Segall Band - Slaughterhouse
(In The Red )
SOMETIMES YOU just need a bit of noise and sometimes an album seems to land on your desk at the right time. Slaughterhouse, the debut from San Francisco’s Ty Segall Band, is such an album.
Ty Segall has been around for a while, recording solo and as part of various bands, delivering full on 1960s garage-rock and Stooges style punk, but this is the first billed as the Ty Segall Band.
Slaughterhouse can be somewhat messy, shouty, and all over the place, and it ends with ‘Fuzz War’, which is little more than 10 minutes of feedback, but persevere through its excess, and what remains is an often thrilling piece of riff led retro-futurist punk, shot through with the melodic sense of the original garage-rockers.
The best songs here - frantic opener ‘Death’ which segues brilliantly into ‘I Brought My Eyes’, ‘The Tongue’, ‘Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart’, and the Sabbath-esque ‘Wave Goodbye’ - are loud, noisy, and exciting, and make no apologies for their indebtedness to dark psychedelic sixties proto-punk.
Neither do they lose sight of the importance of melody and space is created to allow vocal harmonies the space to make their presence felt.
Although a somewhat mixed bag, on balance Slaughterhouse has plenty to make it a release worth giving time and appreciation to.
The Flaming Lips - The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends (Bella Union )
THIS ALBUM is not an official follow-up to Embryonic, it is a collection of collaborations made over the last year with Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Yoko Ono, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, etc.
On paper this is exciting - the ultimate modern day psychedelic prog-rock festival kings working with the cream of their indie/alternative peers. If only.
For the most part Heady Fwends is the Lips and their mates getting together in the studio, bashing out some ideas, seeing what happens, and having a blast. The fun is for the performers and mostly escapes the listener. Much of the album is self-indulgent, directionless, and all sounding like bad out-takes from Embryonic.
Bon Iver’s collaboration, ‘Ashes In The Air’, painfully recalls the worst moments of his disappointing and wildly over-rated second album; other duets, say with Ono, Cave, Neon Indian, are all missed opportunities.
Yet, Heady Fwends has its moments. Opener ‘2012 [You Must Be Upgraded]’, with Kesha and Biz Markie, is a thrilling collision of the Lips psychedelia and deranged robot-funk, that would stand proud on any of their official albums.
The collaboration with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, a gentle, psych-folk ballad, is touching and beautifully sung, while ‘I’m Working At NASA On Acid’, with Lightning Bolt, is a sinister and haunting slice of acoustic psychedelia.
An album very much for die-hards only.