Ty Segall & King Tuff - Live at Pickathon

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2015-04-21

If you’re a fan, chances are you’ve already ordered this split 12in LP from Ty Segall and King Tuff’s sets at the Pickathon Music Festival, Oregon in 2013.

Ty Segall is represented by six tracks, five from Sleeper, and ‘Girlfriend’ from Melted. King Tuff’s tracks come from Was Dead and King Tuff. The soundboard recordings are full and organic, perfectly capturing what occurred on stage, with a degree of warmth and resonance belying the open air venue.

This is not the cut-loose garage-rock of Segall’s precocious youth. The brazenness is replaced by an altogether lovelier, if less exciting tapestry of 60s-inspired stargazer pop, a sound reinstituted for the collaborations with Presley ‘s White Fence. For those familiar with the album Sleeper, they may be surprised by the switch to faster, more upbeat interpretations of the album tracks.

For instance, ‘Sleeper’ is less dreamy, favouring a more buoyant and extroverted mood. ‘For Keepers’ is no longer a stoner lament, it's more impetuous and musically more sprightly. ‘Girlfriend’ from Melted, in keeping the the more T. Rex style, is less fuzzed-out banshee wail, and more fun, a fast-strumming melodicist take. Again, Presley and Segall’s work together rubbed off brilliantly.

King Tuff is the perfect foil to Segall. His straight-ahead garage reconstituting the juice missing from Segall’s set. Not in any way to diminish the earlier set, but the contrast is a reminder of how Segall has mastered the soft and the loud, the smooth and the abrasive.

King Tuff’s nerdy throwback to 90s under-production is hugely enjoyable. The roughneck psychobilly of ‘Stranger’ probably had a few moshies sway-dancing well before time. ‘She’s on Fire’ sounds like it was written to be played live, throwing out 1970s good time pop-rock riffs complete with the send-off "Alright!!"

A great vinyl to get hold of, if there’s any left.

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