The drums hit you immediately on “Taste,” the opening cut to Ty Segall‘s new album First Taste. They are bigger, crazier, more awesome. (“Yes, this is how all rock drums should sound!” is a thought I thought, perhaps even out loud.) What it is, actually, is dual drummers. For this album, the Freedom Band’s regular man behind the kit, Charles Moothart, is joined by Ty, who is no slouch, on a second kit. With Ty in your left ear and Charles in your right, their twin-engine percussion really kicks First Taste into overdrive, whether it’s in loping Can mode, mathy jazz, or one of the many massive riff King Crimson-style jams on the album. First Taste might be Ty’s best album to date.
First Taste is also Ty’s most varied album to date, incorporating all manner of instrumentation, including koto, recorder, bouzouki, harmonizer, mandolin, saxophones and brass and more. The mandolin, which may be the best thing to happen to Ty Segall in ages, comes into play on three of the album’s best songs: the groovy, laid back “The Arms”; the playful “I Sing Them” that has an infectious “la la” falsetto hook and some crazed recorder-playing; and the absolutely killer, album-closing “Lone Cowboys” which starts very mellow but builds quite a head of steam over its four-and-a-half minutes.
There’s also the two-part “When I Met My Parents” which are short, krauty and wigged out; and “Self Esteem,” which sounds like a late-’90s Stereolab b-side, all uptight tropicalia with unhinged horns. He even holds your attention on the a cappella “Ice Plant” that features some harmonic help from Shannon Lay and is a contender for secret best song on the album. Ty and the Freedom Band sound especially dialed in this time and you can tell this album must’ve been fun to make. It is certainly fun to listen to as loud as you can get away with. Those drums!
Ty Segall & The Freedom Band are doing extended residencies where they’re playing First Taste in full (if Ty is not singing behind the kit I’m gonna be upset), along with full-album performances of Manipulator, Goodbye Bread, Melted and Emotional Mugger. The L.A. one is underway now and they’ll be in Brooklyn in October.
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