Album review: Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin

It’s not even been a year since we last reviewed Ty Segall, but he never fails to disappoint or surprise by releasing YET ANOTHER huge album in under 12 months. We eagerly take the album to task and see if the man is as unstoppable as he appears to be!

Opening with the oddly named “Fanny Dog”, comes the latest album from Ty Segall, Freedom’s Goblin. With less lo-fi fuzz (at least from this outset) than his last album, the grungy guitar is still here, but with less howling, distorted vocals from Segall himself. Tailing up with a solo that feels effortlessly cool amidst a fog of guitar and trumpets, the constant releases from this man don’t seem to hamper him at all, it’s good to have him back, even after such a short time.

The last album Segall released, and I had the pleasure of reviewing, was his self-titled outing. And it was a tour-de-force, a relentless, thundering rampage of a punk album. But never one to be constrained to one form, Freedom’s Goblin makes it clear from the outset that a different direction is being taken…at least for the time being.

On the second track, “Rain”, the cleaner cut of the sound, and tremolo-filled vocals, backed by a simplistic piano line are reminiscent of the Showbiz album from Muse (think “Muscle Museum”), it’s emotional and dark, and as complex as Segall’s repertoire. We hear more of these softer tones and even the addition of an acoustic guitar being gently strummed in “My Lady’s On Fire” even giving a glimpse into Segall’s love of The Beatles with his vocal choices in this track.

The punk is never far away though, although whatever strange punky musical being lives inside the man who looks like the edgier and less family friendly version of Ed Sheeran makes sure its influence is at least heard across all tracks. However, its full force can be heard in the lo-fi chaos that makes up tracks such as “When Mommy Kills You”.

As mentioned, and indeed heard, across many of Segall’s albums and interviews, he has always credited T-Rex with being a massive influence on his sound, going so far as to have his 2015 release labelled up as Ty Rex. We see this again in “Every 1’s A Winner”. If the growling melody of “I Love To Boogie” was a labrador, then Segall is the rottweiler cousin with the bass and guitar in this piece. Despite being undeniably rhythmic and funky, the punky fuzz is inescapable. It might be a straight up cover of Hot Chocolate’s track, but that takes nothing away from him.

In a lighter tone, albeit only in tone, comes “Despoiler Of Cadaver”. The title itself probably gives you a rough idea what you’re in for. Take T-Rex melodies with high pitched female disco vocals backing up Segall’s growls and gratuitous use of a wah-wah pedal whilst singing about murder and gunshots.

It turns out, it’s not the only track with gun imagery loaded into it either. The aptly named “Shoot You Up” gives Segall a Bowie-like swagger to his vocals whilst the simple, but ever growling guitar. Replete with Bowie-like pitch changes into falsetto at the end of the track, it’s a show off of talent as much as it is a nod to his influences.

Although Segall’s pace has been undeniably relentless (about 20 albums in a decade… as well as touring cycles), this seems to have only honed him. Freedom’s Goblin technically counts as a double album with its running length coming in comfortably over an hour and at 19 tracks. Although he’s hugely prolific, one thing that seems to get overlooked is his actual writing ability. To consistently turn out material of this calibre and indeed volume is nothing short of staggering. We see a huge range of styles and influences ranging from the aforementioned disco, Nirvana style grunge and even straight up rock in tracks like “She”, which sound so much instrumentally like Queens of The Stone Age I had to check my playlist.

As the album tails out with its chaotic fury only Segall can conjure with tracks such as “The Main Pretender” and “5ft Tall”, both massive punk-rock tracks on their own merits and showing no sign of the album slowing pace, or lower quality tracks being tucked away at the end, we’re left with a gigantic track instead. “And Goodnight” is the farewell track of the album but it’s the equivalent of putting Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird as your goodbye track. It’s so massive it doesn’t prepare you for the end of the album, leaving you wanting a whole set more, despite the huge run time. Thankfully, it’s not likely to be long until Ty releases ANOTHER album, and if not, there’s a giant back catalogue to get your teeth into!

Why not head down to your local Richer Sounds and hear this fantastic album in one of our demo rooms?





Author: Steve, Southgate store

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