Ty Segall - Goodbye Bread

by Al Brown Rating:5 Release Date:2011-06-20

Ty Segall is one of these retro-obsessed, lo-fi garage-rock dudes who seem to be everywhere in the wake of Jay Reatard's death. He shares Reatard's incredible prolificacy: a quick skim of his Wikipedia page reveals seven solo albums and a slew of albums and 45s with various Bay Area garage bands. This from a 23-year-old.

The record kicks off with the John Lennon-indebted title track: all pretty sighs and sleepy drums, it's sobering and blissful at the same time and the best pop song here. 'Comfortable Home' is an ode to wanting to live in squalor in spite of your girlfriend's desire to buy furniture and, well, live in a comfortable home. "She said she wants to buy a couch/ I said why do we have to buy the couch?" spits Segall, but I want to know more about them than the new sofa thing. Why? Am I incapable of imagining what the 'Comfortable Home' represents? Nah, I just want a bit of colour, an interesting detail or two. Compared to 'My Girls', Animal Collective's ode to domestic conformity, there's just none of the wit, none of the interest. It's pretty facile stuff.

There's a drifting, stoned feel to the album that sometimes works but other times comes across as lazy and boring. Tracks like 'I Can't Feel It' - four minutes long with two lines of lyrics and no variation - cross a line into utter mediocrity. 'My Head Explodes' is like Jay Reatard with none of his manic urgency. 'You Make the Sun Fry' is the kind of rubbish Beatles parody The Beta Band used to fart out before everyone came to their senses and stopped liking The Beta Band.

Apart from the title track there's an element of tossed-off formlessness to all these songs, and a lack of interesting ideas. Appropriating the style of legendary bands like The Stooges or The Beatles isn't an offence in itself, but surely once you've nailed that sound you've got to take it somewhere, not just go in circles.

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