Bar one year out of eleven, Ty Segall has been annual in his album release output. This is not to mention all the other bands, collabs and EP’s he’s put out in between, the man is a machine. For the past three years we’ve had a new record every January, but following last year’s mammoth 19 track effort ‘Freedom’s Goblin‘ you can excuse Ty for taking a little more time to deliver album number 11.
I purposely avoided all teasers for ‘First Taste‘ in an attempt to get the full album listening experience, which I’m glad I did because this is a really engulfing listen. Opening track ‘Taste‘ is an electrifying start, mixing fuzzy synths, buzzing bass, bustling percussion, not to mention some soaring vocal work setting the tone for this unpredictable ride.
We all know that Ty is a jack of all trades and it’s fair to say a master of all, but I think the main takeaway I’ve gotten from his records is his vocals and his riffs. If you want shredding both from the fingers and the throat then Mr Segall is the man, but what I like on this record is the focus on the rhythm section with a lot of tracks zooming in on bass licks and percussion. You just can’t help but be suckered into the grooves of ‘I Worship The Dog‘ and ‘Whatever‘ and as always, the sonics throughout the record are full of psych inspired twists that sound bonkers in the right headphones.
But of course, Ty still flexes all his musical muscles, with ‘Ice Plant‘ acting as a beautifully yearning accapella track, while closing track ‘Lone Cowboys‘ sees him shredding on an acoustic guitar for this fun Middle Eastern inspired folk tune. In fact, that Middle Eastern feel does creep into the album, especially on the sitar driven riff of ‘Radio‘, I get the feeling that Ty has been listening to ‘Revolver’ during the making of this LP. The Beatles have always been a clear influence, but instead of honing in on their pop sensibilities like everyone else, Ty seems to be looking into how they expanded sonically which is why I hear a few deep Harrison cuts referenced on ‘First Taste‘. But of course, this is just one of many references as this draws inspiration from so much with a strong synth enhanced feel pulsating through its core.
Whereas his predecessor felt like Ty trying to display as many different genres across one record (a bit like a jukebox), ‘First Taste‘ feels more like an album despite its eclecticism. Every track seems to come from the same idea of taking you through a journey of sorts and it sounds cliche as hell, but this isn’t your usual bold as brass guitar rippers – this is more of a head fuck and a glorious one at that. If you dug the experimental nature of 2016’s ‘Emotional Mugger’ then you’ll certainly get on with this. This album is to be digested slowly and with this comes grand rewards, as our lord and saviour delivers another chapter of what will be his holy grail.