Ty Segall has been a busy man over the last few months. With Slaughterhouse, we see the second of what’s expected to be three full-length album releases tied to the San Francisco-based garage rocker this year. (He released a collaboration album with White Fence in April and has plans to put out another solo album later this year.)
Slaughterhouse, though, is Segall’s first full-length album with his touring band (collectively the Ty Segall Band) and first release on In the Red Records. Coming in at 10 short tracks, the aptly named album is a 40-minute psychedelic ass-kicking to the ears that feels harder, louder and laced with more guitar-screeching grit than anything we’ve heard from Segall before. If you’re looking for a rehash of the down-tempo, more melodic songs of Segall’s 2011 acclaimed solo album, Goodbye Bread, this ain’t it.
With the presence of the band, Segall’s punishingly loud style of play is taken to new levels not only along the decibel scale, but also tonally. The band atmosphere lends itself to a more cohesive—even authoritative—sound as opposed to the more stripped-down, raw stylings of his solo efforts. The guitar shreds sound fuller and heavily layered on songs like “The Tongue” and “Diddy Wah Diddy,” while “Mary Ann” and “Slaughterhouse” push the recordings to the limits of Segall’s signature distorted, lo-fi sound.
But that’s not to say Slaughterhouse is all noise without melodic substance. Harmonies soar on tracks like “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart” and “I Bought My Eyes” without detracting from the hard-rocking garage feel of the album. The mid-album track “Wave Goodbye” takes a slower, almost blues-like approach—imagine Goodbye Bread’s “My Head Explodes,” but amplified—and is a welcome break between what’s otherwise a fast-tempo collection of tracks.
Slaughterhouse, then, becomes the best of both Ty Segall worlds, a marriage of the hard-charging guitar riffs for which Segall and his band are best known and the more complex singer/songwriter skills that Segall developed on Goodbye Bread. The album is loud and powerful, to be sure, but not so much as to alienate a wide audience. It’s welcome progression for Segall and crew, one that’s as enjoyable as it is ear-splintingly raucous.