Ty Segall – ‘Freedom’s Goblin’ Review

Score

A belting garage-rock odyssey that revels in its own weirdness

Despite 10 solo albums in as many years and endless side projects, cult garage rocker Ty Segall still isn’t quite sure about being labelled “prolific”. Speaking to Stereogum, Segall admitted that the description was once a cause for irritation, saying, “I used to [get annoyed]. I honestly used to very much.” Now, Segall has begrudgingly come to recognise the physical barriers and release patterns of the current musical landscape – but these limits are nowhere to be found on his latest release, ‘Freedom’s Goblin’. In fact, it is without a doubt his wildest release to date.

To prove that point, let’s have a quick play-by-play of the album’s opening four tracks. ‘Fanny Dog’ is a head-banging ode to his beloved pet and the second track, ‘Rain’, is a horn-filled wonder that’s as textured and dense as any Radiohead tune. A fuzzy cover of Hot Chocolate’s ‘Every 1’s A Winner’ arrives a song later, with Segall soon trying his hand at disco on the slinking ‘Despoiler Of Cadaver’. It’s a dizzying 16-minute stretch that will be impossible for anyone to replicate on an album this year. Unless Segall cracks out another record this year, that is.

There are moments that’ll placate those who are just working their way into Segall’s daunting discography, though. ‘The Main Pretender’ squelches with sludgy synth lines but retains the pop edge visible on his most accessible album, 2014’s ‘Manipulator’. ‘Shoot You Up’, meanwhile, is a thrilling glam-rock stomper that could have featured on his 2015 T. Rex cover album, ‘Ty Rex’. But the weird edges of ‘Freedom’s Goblin’ are where your attention should be drawn to. Like the freeform jazz interlude ‘Talkin 3’ and ‘Prison’, which sounds like the frantic last squeals of a dying bee. It’s captivating stuff, honestly.

What’s next for Segall, then? No idea, but we’ll almost certainly see you back here sooner rather than later for solo album 11.

Details

Release Date: January 26, 2018
Record Label: Drag City