Whether it’s as a result of some deficiency in creative thought or his frankly unnecessarily regular output, Ty Segall’s latest album is somewhat lacking in originality. Were I not reading the track listing as I write this, I would scarcely be able to name a single song from the whitewashed fuzzy soup of an album that “Emotional Mugger” is, and this surely poses a problem given the quality and memorability of recent albums in this field. The indie slacker has grown a sense of wit and humour since the release of Segall’s eponymous debut album, a development he seems to have missed, leaving him in lyrical purgatory. There aren’t any shockingly bad lines, but it might have made them more memorable if there had been.
“Squealer” is a 90s nostalgia trip that’s as forgettable as it is tuneless. The whining guitar on the title track is as grating as nails on a chalk board, a trope that’s all too common across much of the album. The creeping sense that the distortion has been utilised as a way of masking the general lack in ingenuity in the instrumentation manifests itself, and lingers in the mind until the closing noisy barrage of “the magazine”.
There are certainly certain songs that pack a significant enough punch to avoid some of the criticism I’ve levelled here however. The high intensity squalls of “diversion” are an appropriate marriage for the abrasive guitar tones that were insufferable on slower songs.
While Ty Segall probably doesn’t need to prove anything at this point, it disappoints me that I couldn’t find much to like about this album. I struggled to enjoy huge chunks of it, the screeching guitars really doing very little for my enjoyment. I can’t recommend you do anything other than stream this album.