It Comes in Threes
Psych Svengali Ty Segall knows how to keep busy. Hair, his Beatles-leaning collab with White Fence, the solo moniker used by Timothy Presley of Darker My Love, came late April this year, followed shortly by the meat-grinder menace of Slaughterhouse about the end of June, and now he’s looking to top off 2012 with Twins. We think..a Christmas album could be in order. But where Hair sparkled with Syd Barrett whimsy and Slaughterhouse piled into enervating sonics, Twins treads more on the swirling neon terrain of The Seeds or Iron Butterfly.
“Inside Your Heart” writhes with big drums and a thick, flowing fuzz line as Ty portrays love as an H.R. Giger-level intruder. Its menacing love–death dichotomy and Timothy Leary-approved guitars are just what the unlicensed doctor ordered. “There’s No Tomorrow” spackles another layer of terminal sentiment, sounding like the dopamine-depleted day after “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Ty’s romantic “for tomorrow we die” lyrics see beauty in at least lovin’ on his lady before the impending Last Judgement. A mopy, junk-sick guitar solo helps him drive the point home.
Twins dabbles in hip-shaking camp with “Who Are You,” a tumbling Jaguar’s ride through late ’60s London. The song’s lead guitar lines trill like Iron Butterfly wings, and its swingin’ tempo all but invites Julie Newmar and Adam West to lean into the “Batusi.” Things get haunting on “The Hill,” whose goth backup sirens cordially invite you to a mysterious rite soon to transpire on some foggy, torch-lit peak. During the verse, Ty breathlessly prods us along like the mooncalf convert of a fertility cult: “Now when you’re here/Take my hand…To disappear/From this land,” later assuring—or rather demanding?—“There is no fear.” Our coven of Morticia lookalikes deliver the song’s fun, bad joo-joo chorus perhaps just in time for All Hallow’s Eve.
“Handglams” and the album’s only acoustic number, “Gold on the Shore,” aren’t so much duds as just less effective. The latter has Ty affecting a here-and-there Liverpool accent in a pleasant, but in the end trifling ballad, whereas the bread-and-butter stomp of “Handglams,” with its rabbit-whole verse and ground-pounding chorus, rustles up only B-card thrills. On the other hand, “Ghost” may well be Twins’ strongest pound-for-pound entry, billowing an irresistible good-trip haze with its big, mean groove and Ty’s wilting, young Lennon delivery. All told, the album passes for a pure, unlaced tab with no nasty side effects—unlike the grating Slaughterhouse before it, whose in-the-red production was not so much a muscular lo-fi rush as an obnoxious letdown. Ty, if this one’s your third and last for the year, congrats: You’ve ended on a high and probably drunk note.