"Because we are ghosts living in our heads waiting for the notice that we are dead…"
From the opening swell of “Thank God For The Sinners” and its subsequent guitar chords, vocals and drum beat, you pretty much know what you’re getting yourself into with Twins, Ty Segall’s 5-billionth record. OK, it’s really his 11th under his own name but the man has been prolific in his musical output for the past five years which has been supported, manufactured and distributed by a multitude of labels with this offering being put out by Chicago independent label Drag City Records. The musical content across this whole album is essentially dirty, fuzzy garage rock with varying levels intensity and aggression but most tracks are set at a moderate to highly upbeat rock rhythm the latter of which is quintessentially exemplified by second track “You’re The Doctor” and features the most intense drum pounding on the whole record. It starts off with a rapid guitar strum and a frenzied, psychotic yet classic rock guitar lead which sets the stage for Ty’s raspy, yelping tunefulness. Overwhelmingly distorted guitar chords flourish brightly on tracks like “They Told Me Too” and “The Hill” the latter of which features some guest female vocals which sound like a sampled 78 RPM record from the '40s. Slow burning cuts like “Ghost” and album closer “There Is No Tomorrow” deliver some contrast to the noise and heft that this album almost constantly pushes while “Handglams” lays waste to the challenge of containing all of this albums extremes together in just one song tugging back and forth between soft strumming and all out chaos only to explode with a dual guitar lead interplay which swells out into a slow, relatively clean guitar line mirroring the one that opened the song.
There are hooks on this record but the real attractions here are the timbre of the instruments, the live band feel of the recordings and the personal touch with which Ty Segall colors this musical style. There are plenty of well fleshed out layered vocals most of which seem to be Ty’s own multiple dubbed vocals though there are evident guests co-manning the singing duties and those aspects further solidify this LP as being a more song structure based one as opposed to dealing in lengthy instrumental jams like Ty is known to do on some other albums and with some of the other bands he is a part of. There is a level of production which tends to pull the ambiance of this record a little out of the garage and instead a bit more “in the studio” though the inherent contrast to being a pop record is in the raucous noise of the instrumental tracks save for “Gold On The Shore” the album’s sole acoustic track. Honestly, it’s hard to think of this as pop record in any way because it gives an impression that feels genuine and completely lacks a sense of being contrived. It’s a delicate balance but it’s handled beautifully and leaves the listener plenty to explore and enjoy given it’s somewhat minimalist configuration. This is fiery, impromptu rock music that just happened to become a collection of songs. Highly recommended.
Brian -Tech Clerk