Ty Segall - Fudge Sandwich - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Ty Segall - Fudge Sandwich

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2018-10-26
Ty Segall - Fudge Sandwich
Ty Segall - Fudge Sandwich

Mercurial, sometimes hard-rocker, Ty Segall plies an interesting trade. It’s almost impossible to pigeon-hole him, but there’s one constant, and that’s his indefatigable quest to doctor up all his influences: glam, hard rock, cool but not snotty punk, garage and psych, and turn them into the rock equivalent of Dr Moreau’s transmutations. It almost seems restrictive to paraphrase the smart little bastard’s influences in such a way, and Fudge Sandwich exemplifies his wide ranging approach to all that has been cool since he stepped out of his diapers and got his hands on his parents’ record collection. Clearly he has incredible talent. His ability to recast the music he likes into enduring pop and rock nuggets for the new age will, I think, never be forgotten. History will be kind to Segall. Maybe more so than the likes of Jay Reatard.

So here, it would be easy to call this album of covers simply homage, when really it's a masquerade party for one.

The original of War’s ‘Lowrider’ was a frisky little comic number but Segall’s version is deformed into something croaky and misanthropic. I’d coin it as post-ambient freakbeat. The Spencer Davis Group had a major hit with ‘I’m a Man’ off the back of Winwood’s charismatic, heroic soul. Segall displaces Winwood’s unimpeachable soul with rock music urgency, quickening the tempo. He replaces keyboard with fuzzed out guitar, playfully screeching towards a well timed exit.

Of course, Segall seems more interested in Eddie Hazel’s legacy of preposterous guitar meltdowns than the funk narrative and angelic choruses of Funkadelic’s ‘Hit It and Quit It’. No surprises there, and he positively steams on this great version.

Although exquisitely controlled on ‘Class War’, Segall leaches The Dils’ song ‘Class War’ of its mordant social message, and embellishes its spiky punk minimalism, and here is a rare example of chutzpah robbing the original of its meaning.

‘Pretty Miss Titty’ is a forgotten psych-pop masterpiece from Gong, and Segall does it justice with his Syd Barrett acid-damaged vocal delivery. Not as successful though as his update to Neil Young’s ‘The Loner’ a rollicking, jet propelled shroud of relentless guitar pounding. Another advance on the original comes with ‘Archangel Thunderbird’ with little vocal quavers, polyrhythms and guitar counterpoints. Utterly chaotic.

I’ve never understood the fascination with Grateful Dead myself. I have no plans to go to war with legions of retro-cruise middle agers convalescing in the Caribbean sunshine. What I can say is that Segall’s version shits all over the Dead version of ‘St Stephen’ especially when he blows a gasket in the outro.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars
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