Ty Segall is heading for a crash. He's promised three LPs this year - the manic Slaughterhouse is only number two and already it sounds like he's had his brakes cut, embraced the inevitable and begun rocking out with the Grim Reaper himself. This is no logical follow-on from the garage-popping melodies of last year's Goodbye Bread album. Exorcised too is the majority of the vintage psyche from this year's collaboration with White Fence. Fear not though for Segall's affinity for cute hooks remains in place - it's now just mutilated by a particularly virulent strain of garage-punk.
As such, for his first full-band release, Segall couldn't have found a better home than In The Red - an imprint with sufficient experience to stand well back and let his distorted onslaught fight itself rather than those around it. Far from present to just make up numbers that touring band in full comprises San Franciscan city-mate and sometimes-sound-alike Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moothart of superlative garage-surf outfit The Moonhearts, as well as go-to garage gal Emily Rose Epstein. Consequently, Slaughterhouse sounds fully demented. "Wave Goodbye", for example, comes on like the sloppiest, heaviest parts of the early White Stripes canon as tackled by Bedlam's own blues band.
Punishing with one hand and proffering irresistible delights with the other, Slaughterhouse weights its close with 10 minutes of redlining equipment and what sounds like Epstein's drum kit being periodically assaulted. Enough to put off the wary, Segall nevertheless reels those on the fence back in with bread-and-butter riffs and rough-and-ready melodies, such as those that run free in "I Bought My Eyes" and "Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart". At the other end of the spectrum there's the "extra fast" psychobilly cover of "Diddy Wah Diddy" and the screeching title track. Having beamed in from the 60s, "The Bag I'm In" is a screaming Nuggets jam that has scratches run in its every groove. "Death" is pure marauding, demo-quality fuzz in which the hooks arrive at such jostling speed from the overloaded pedals that at times they're reduced to white noise. It's breathless and it's vital too, its eviscerating solo both immensely pleasing yet painful.
Slaughterhouse may not in all its departments quite be the "evil space rock" Segall has elsewhere promised, but they'll be few complaints all the same and, who knows, on the now awaited third long-player of the year he may yet come good on his word. Watch this space.
Advised downloads: "Wave Goodbye" and "The Bag I'm In".