The most welcome things to note about Twins – Ty Segall’s third(!) full length release of the year – is that it in no way feels extraneous. We can start playing the > ranking games among ourselves a little later if you wish – and, admittedly, it would seem fair to say that this feels like more of a victory lap to Segall’s year, rather than its shattering climax – but the surprising fact of the matter is simple and to me inarguable: three LPs into the year, Segall hasn’t yet outstayed his welcome, and still has more pleasure to offer.
The fact that Twins is the only Segall release of the year to be attributed solely to ‘Ty Segall’ without credited collaborators might lead you to think that this LP is the one which Segall throws himself into most fully, or the one which he wants to stand as the definitive statement of his creative output at the close of an insanely prolific year. Instead however, Twins arguably comes across as the slightest of his offerings in 2012, not so much trailblazing into bold new territories, but instead frequently splitting the difference between the jaunty garage rock jams of his fantastic collaboration with White Fence and the more ferocious riffage of Slaughterhouse, as well as housing a smattering of ideas which simply didn’t seem to quite fit onto either. Twins is perhaps best thought of as a cutting room floor of songs and ideas, and as such feels like the least individually pronounced of Segall’s offerings this year – but nevertheless comfortably hits many of the same peaks of quality as his other more well defined albums released this year.
In short, if you didn’t like Segall before the release of Twins, this LP is going to do nothing to convert you – as it’s unmistakably the same Segall we’ve been hearing all year. But if you are enamoured by Segall’s relentless devotion to the simple joys of garage rock and roll, Twins stands as another welcome half hour blast of energising solos, snotty hooks above giddily simple chord progressions, and the same infatuation with guitar and drum which us of his fans find almost impossible to leave on the table. Sure, it offers up a few hyper-subtle curve balls in the form of a female led chorus hook on ‘The Hill’ or a completely acoustic number with ‘Gold On The Shore’ – little stylistic flourishes which wouldn’t really have found a niche on either of his other projects this year. But chiefly, it’s more of the same – and when more of the same comes in the form of two minute, thumping, power nuggets like the irresistible ‘You’re The Doctor’, then more of the same is fine by me.
Admittedly, Twins happens to contain some of the weakest stand-alone tracks of Segall’s output this year, such as the repetitively shuffling ‘Lovefuzz’ and ‘Handglans’ juddering the album’s momentum right in the middle of its stride. And of course, the nature of this album’s apparent purpose as holding ground for Segall’s remaining ideas of the year means that the record lacks a certain coherence in comparison to the sharply drawn identities of his two other LPs of the year. But Segall is more than justified in putting out a record to collate the year’s final crop of his restless musical virility because, whether they congeal to a central framework or not, his songs are chiefly good, and there’s little more you want of a loose garage punk rock record than that.
7Russell Warfield's Score