Ty Segall and White Fence - Hair

by Miz DeShannon Rating:8 Release Date:2012-04-23

Ty Segall and Timothy Presley are like a comedy duo - not that this album is laughable in any way. Don't get me wrong - it's fun happy, exciting and experimental, but not hair-rock jokey. So with Segall being the crazy one, Presley being the straight-man, Hair is the perfect meeting of their prolific minds. Its sloppy, intoxicated (probably) meanderings through musical history, with a bit of folk, a bit of psych, some garage, some rock 'n' roll, are all wrapped up in signature Segall reverbed vocals, acoustic guitar strumming and Presley's solid tub-thumping back-beats.

In typical experimental style, Time starts with a chanting intro and heads immediately into a George Harrison-esque track. Now this is what I mean about retro. You couldn't get more Harrison if you tried; it's all echoey vocals and wincing guitars. But it is said he's the most under-rated of The Beatles and it's about time someone did a good copy of his work. The end of the track, which is like three put together, finishes with a heavy riff breakdown. Interesting that they've not been even more typically experimental and broken it down into three few-second instances.

The swirly organ sounds of 'I Am Not a Game', accompanied with a few upstrokes here and there, are a bit more Kelley Stoltz and that typically wonderfully psych-garage San Fran sound, along with the distinctive 'Easy Ryder', which at not even two-and-a-half minutes has a Californian drawl to it, in the tempo, the melody and the lyrics - its easy, laid-back, fuss-free.

'The Black Glove/Rag' is also laid-back, nothing to write home about but good filler, a typical plodding and incredibly familiar sounding track, with a guitar riff you've heard before but just can't pin down. It could be Wolf People, it could be White Denim, it could be anything you pulled from the late 60s or 70s in fact. Retro all the way. A sudden foray into rock 'n' roll, 'Crybaby' has a definite feel of Thee Oh Sees (whose vocalist John Dwyer discovered Segall) and is like listening to some 50s rock 'n' roller with the ears of everyone's favourite psych-head Syd Barrett, shaped into Segall and Presley's own slant on retro.

Obviously, the thing with any retro music is that it plays on the good points, and sometimes bad, of everything you used to listen to. Close your eyes and it takes you down the same dreamy roads, drives through the same sun-soaked woods and bounds over the same windswept dunes as everything you've heard before did. And the two musicians behind this are so heavily involved in the psych music scene, Segall from the San Fran garage scene and Timothy Presley from bands like Darker My Love and Strange Boys, it's fairly obvious what their project together is going to sound like.

Five minutes of stoner-psych, Closing song 'Tongues' ends with slurry harmonies and Segall's acoustic strumming, full of the signature guitar squeakiness and dreamy basslines, sending you off to sleep after the hectic journey through the deserts of musical history.

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