Album Review

Emotional Mugger

Emotional Mugger

by Ty Segall

Drag City
8.5 / 10
17th February 2016

Reviewed by Oliver Gaskell

Upon listening to the opening tracks of Ty Segall’s new record Emotional Mugger, fans of the prolific garage rocker’s work will be pleasantly unsurprised. Known for his work ethic as much as his skewed take on 60s and 70s psychedelia, classic rock, and metal, Segall generally draws from a familiar sonic palette of overdriven fuzz guitars, pounding bass and crashing drums, often releasing multiple albums each year.

Whilst Emotional Mugger may initially sound like Segall is treading the same old ground, the album is truly his most experimental and exciting yet. Semi-title track ‘Emotional Mugger / Leopard Priestess’ features Segall’s trademark fuzz over a dubby krautrock beat, fleshed out with spacey prog rock synth. Meanwhile album closer ‘The Magazine’ resembles early Melvins with its sinister, hypnotic groove and emphasis on a booming, repetitive drum beat. And ‘Baby Big Man (I Want A Mommy)’ sounds like the title of a Frank Zappa or Captain Beefheart oddity, and also echoes those fearless freaks musically, with some 80s video game synth thrown in for good measure.

It’s an absolute pleasure to hear Segall exploring new territory, especially after so many albums such as 2014’s Manipulator, which albeit great, often worshipped classic rock’s pantheon at the expense of Segall’s own musical development and identity. It’s easy to pick out musical reference points whilst listening to Emotional Mugger; however Segall mixes them up in new and thrilling ways – showing his potential to join the greats instead of merely imitating them.

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