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Album Review

by Ty Segall


Review Date
20th August 2010
Reviewed by
Paul Gallagher

Melted marks a natural progression, an opening out for Ty Segall. Stepping out from the solo artist DIY tryst seen on previous self titled release and Lemons, he's turned away from the guitar and one-legged bass drum formula, taken on band mates and given group dynamics a try on for size. It's something that was always going to happen over time, after a host of 7-inches on a variety of indie labels and well as two LPs, Segall's moved onto maturity as his acceptance as an artist continues to grow.

Sometimes unfairly described as being a surf-bum rock version of the Black Keys rehashed blues persuasion, Segall is instead rock'n'rock through and through - more like a younger brother of Jay Reatard than an boardroom associate of Danger Mouse-produced retards. There's always been the crackle of fire to his records, and Melted's no different. A sunny haze emanates throughout, giving his short-lived hooks a bitter, battered shine. Opening track Finger makes a mark with a bristling run similar to an uglier, bruised version of the best that an early era (dare I say it, if only to provide some local context) Betchadupa had to offer. Other standouts include Mike D's Coke, which throws down a bass gauntlet before spawning post punk reverie. and the next track, Imaginary Person, which delivers an off-kilter resurgent 1960s pop acoustic jingle before synth and fuzz obliterate what's sensible about it in the modus operandi for which the sadly lost Jay Reatard was utterly reliable.

However, despite all the willingness to change up and grow his sound, Segall seems unable to wield the power of a leader to reign in the inconsistencies of his new found band mates. It makes for an easy equation, in which he chooses to be satisfied with tracks that threaten to shoot straight down the throat but sadly never quite do and instead amble into brevity. Case in point includes Caesar that fails to live up to the promise of being the album single, and Bees which just, well, fizzles into nothing. A redeeming feature though is the album's title track which sits halfway through as the back bone support for the weaknesses that might exist elsewhere. It's a stomping, unabashed masterclass of reverb and feedback that shows up the lamer tracks for what they are.

For all it's finer moments, Melted barely satisfies the promise that previous releases - like Lemons (Goner, 2009) - made me believe Ty Segall had to offer. It goes to show that an artist whose reputation in the short form is undeniable may not always find the magic to make an LP work.

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