The first solo release of 2015 for Ty Segall is Mr. Face, a 4-track release that opens with the title track, a song that sounds like it’s spent some time in the California of the 1970s. This is definitely not the wild, combustible body of energy that we’ve grown accustomed to from Ty Segall, but even where the song picks up its pace you can see that component of his sound is very much still there (albeit slightly dialled down on this occasion).
Second track, Circles, is reminiscent of Ty’s earlier stylings with a sound that you imagine would please the mod revivalists among us. Perhaps showing more of a flair for a psychedelic style, this track again has the core craziness that has set Ty Segall apart. The noticeable difference so far seems to be that the vocals are getting a bit more of a chance than perhaps they’ve had in previous releases – while the batshit crazy guitar playing is still there, distortion is a distant memory and instead there’s more of a platform for Ty’s voice to be heard.
Drug Mugger is probably my pick of the bunch, it has the rhythm to get you on the move and is probably where this slightly more psych-rock sounding style works the best on this release. What I would say is that while this EP might feel like the songs like the usual kick that can be found with anything associated with the name Ty Segall, these songs would take on a new life altogether when seen live.
Surprising is the last song, The Picture, a song that is quiet by the usual standards. I suppose this is as close to a ballad that Ty Segall gets, and on paper that might sound like a mistake. The truth is, although it is quieter and some way off what you would expect, it works. There’s almost a chanting sound to the vocals as the song plays out over the same chord progression, played on guitars firmly on the clean channel.
An interesting release from Ty Segall, this 4-tracker might be a sign of things to come or maybe it’s just having a go at doing things a little bit differently for once. Either way the spirit of Ty’s sound is as present as ever, even if it does sound like he’s been asked to turn the noise down.