Ty Segall + White Fence : Hair
The innate attraction of garage music must surely be its empowering spirit: anyone with less than a modicum of talent, but with the right attitude can pick up an instrument, bash out three-chords or a basic rock beat, and offer untold happiness to the world. The paradox, however, is that that superficial simplicity – the musical crucible upon which garage music is defined – betrays a subtle genius as significant as any elaborate orchestral piece.
Ty Segall and White Fence have loitered around the garage rock neighbourhood long enough to know the intrinsic beauty of apparently primitive musicianship. Hair, the artists’ collaborative project, is everything that a garage rock record should be. The record starts out in surprising form – Time is the Beatles strung out on mescalin and besotted by cheap eastern spiritual rhetoric, before breaking into Spencer Jones junk territory, and all is good with the world. On I Am Not A Game bubblegum rock arm-wrestles with southern garage rock in a fight for primacy; as Segall’s freaked out guitar trails into sonic oblivion, all is good, and long may it continue.
Easy Ryder is acid rock idealism for a fucked up world, The Black Glove is Donovan finding peace, love and contentment at the end of a bad trip in the desert with Phil Kaufman and Rag takes the MC5’s Ramblin’ Rose for a whip around the block with a few lines of speed and a Pussy Galore’s Dial M For Motherfucker as mood music. (I Can’t) Get Around You is Bob Dylan meets the Dolly Rocker Movement in a dingy LA bar, Scissor People is the Rolling Stones at the tail-end of a 48 amphetamines bender and Tongues is back with the Beatles, and a Lovetones chaser.
For sociological reasons that don’t bear too much contemplation, western society has lurched back into the world of manufactured pop. The only benefit of that retrograde development is to render records like Hair even better specimens of the garage craft.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: I Am Not A Game
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In A Word: Garage