[review] Ty Segall & White Fence // Hair

I’ve had this album for what seems like an eternity. It’s been out for a month now, but has remained on fairly heavy rotation on my iTunes since before it came out. The collaboration is so seamless that it is hard to tell where Ty Segall ends and White Fence (Tim Presley) begins. Presley’s favored production values take precedence over Segall’s usually cleaner mix, but that doesn’t mean that he sounds out of his element here; in fact, it’s much to the contrary. Placing Segall into White Fence’s scratchy world of distortion and reverb laden guitars and vocals only helps to draw out the similarities between the two.

The album’s biggest strength is that it merges two unique voices that are twisted in the same way, with the same vision. I’m much more familiar with White Fence than I am with Ty Segall, and I am a follower of his post-modern, late 60’s psychedelic rock reinterpretations. The songs on this album have a way of blending the folkier aspects with some harder edged, full-out, distortion driven rockers like opener “Time,” which bookends its lazy, acoustic dual guitar solos with crushing arena rock riffs that alter the dynamic completely.

A lot of the album stays within the realm of early Pink Floyd with pop song structures that are then soaked in acid. “Easy Rider” and “Crybaby” don’t deviate very far from traditional rock chord progressions, but still manage to sound completely original. The originality could be because of the straight-to-tape production values, or the general jangling of the guitars making it seem like at any moment the entire thing could fall apart. It’s exciting, and done really well.

The standout track, for me personally, is “Scissor People,” probably the noisiest and fastest track on the album. The shouted vocals can barely overcome the rest of the band, with feedback poking through at every opportunity. It’s a simple song, based on one simple riff with an extended solo thrown in. All of this happens over the course of a three and a half minute rock tune.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out this collaboration, or the rest of the vast plethora of what Tim Presley has released under the White Fence moniker this year, I would highly suggest getting on that.

Connect with Ty Segall // web

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