I’ll Have What He’s Having
Ty Segall’s $ingle$ 2, a collection of b-sides and one-offs from 2011 to 2013, is filled with gorgeous melodies, beautiful vocals and poignant hooks bathed in Segall’s characteristic lo-fi rock tomfoolery that has contributed to his becoming, in some circles, a premiere purveyor of complexity bathed in haphazard motions.
“Children of Paul” is a catchy, Bowiesque number with the whimsy of the Beatles’ late-60s psychedelic fare, which is appropriate given that Segall’s voice often borders on John Lennon territory. The chorused acoustic guitars, dirty, screaming guitar leads and the various and sundry kaleidoscope of other guitar and vocal stylings stick to a listener’s brain like benevolent leeches, giving a life-force instead of taking it away. “Fucked Up Motherfucker” is another Bowiesque cut, replete with saxophone, that carries on that overall vibe.
Picking up immediately afterward is “It’s A Problem,” a number that cites the A Quick One/Happy Jack-era of The Who. The song, off a 2012 split with the band Feeling of Love, bobs along on steady drums, a walking bass line and some dirty, chunky guitars topped with Segall’s laidback delivery.
Elsewhere, Segall takes on the precious, serene Nico-led The Velvet Underground track “Femme Fatale,” and turns it into a mod-laden, danceable number that mines the noisey theatrics of the Underground’s other, harder songs for a full-on shit-show of fun.
Segall even tackles soundtracks on the aptly titled “Music for a Film,” a potential car-chase or montage backer in some version of a James Bond film in which 007 does a lot of blow, shoots a couple adult films and in a paranoiac state throws his shaken-not-stirred martini in the face of a busboy he believes to be a villain in disguise.
It’s kind of crazy, this whole thing. The guy throws together memorable, well-written and well-performed songs on what sounds like a 1983 RadioShack portable tape recorder and kicks them out into the world as often as people breathe. Segall’s odds and sods collection is better than most band’s proper albums, and it seems he has no interest or ability to stop. Let’s not stand in his way.