As the reigning prince of the West Coast garage movement, Ty Segall is nuttily prolific, and his newest album, Twins, might be his most cohesive and infectious work yet. This fuzzed-out slab of bubblegum glam punk manages to distill Cheap Trick, the Beatles, Redd Kross, and the Hollies into a magnetically catchy and muscular Molotov cocktail of power pop.
For all its primal power, Twins is beautifully arranged and well written. The grinding fuzz on “Thank God for the Sinners” is one of the most ferocious and delicious guitar tones of the year. On “Ghost,” Segal uses slap-back vocals in a nod to the Plastic Ono Band and fellow Frisco art-garagists Sic Alps, achieving a pop-punk synthesis of Lennon and Sex Pistols that a young Oasis probably heard in their dreams.
Segall borrows liberally, if tastefully, from the past. Hilariously, he nicks moves from The Stooges “No Fun” not once, but twice—first on the loping drums of “Love Fuzz” and then in the intro to “Who Are You?”—before aping the maraca spazzery of Murphy and the Mob’s “Born Loser.”
As petty thievery goes, it’s killer stuff. But there’s plenty of fiery, original inspiration and top-shelf tunes on Twins— and no shortage of hints that, before he’s done, Segall may carve out a classic sound entirely his own.—Charles Saufley
Must-hear track: “The Hill”