It seems as if every time I begin to question the value of seeking new music, I soon rip that closing door off its hinges with a new discovery. My latest is Ty Segall. Since listening to this album I have dove head first into garage rock....a genre I had previously sampled but not thoroughly explored. My results? Fairly unexpected.
I always think it's interesting to approach a genre in reverse order. Going from the new bands on the scene and slowly making your way back to its roots. When digging through 60s garage bands (The Seeds, The Pretty Things, Standells, Troggs, etc.), I often get disappointed when I have to skip through songs that just sort of drag in spots, lean too heavily toward pop sensibilities, or simply lack the grit one would expect from the term garage. I acknowledge that this is due to my specific definition of "garage" that is obviously biased by my taste and retroactive approach. I just feel as if much (surely not all!) of early garage is better represented in compilation form, rather than being a sound well represented across these artists' albums. I suppose The Sonics are the first band that comes to mind as the archetypal sound I not-so-subconsciously seek. I need energy, I need power, and I need momentum.
In contrast, I feel that many of the garage bands today tend to lean toward the punk edge of garage which I find equally disappointing (Oblivians, Jay Reatard, etc). The Black Lips and King Khan and the BBQ Show are a couple that I feel synthesize the garage sound I love very well. So what does Ty Segall bring to the table? I suppose it's the perfect balance of garage ingredients I usually feel are in inappropriate proportions on many similar bands' records. You can definitely boogie to it, but it's also dripping with sex. And although Lemons possesses a range of momentum, it never loses my attention. To further a previous analogy, it's as if in the face of one ingredient being turned down, another maintains the balance so that the sum remains consistent.
Is this a flawless album? No. Can I stop listening to it? Yes...but only to catch my breath.