Ty Segall: Emotional Mugger

Segall has grown into his role as one of rock’s best songwriters.

Ty Segall Emotional Mugger (Drag City) Rating: 4 out of 5 stars The music that Ty Segall plays is, at least on the surface, not all that complicated. He plays rock and roll. That might be oversimplifying it a bit, but not by much. The San Francisco singer-songwriter is at his best when his songs are slathered in obscene gobs of dirty, druggy fuzz. Within that range he’s remarkably versatile, but the end result is almost always a variation on the same result. So it goes with Emotional Mugger. It’s a noisier, messier album than the like that Segall had been turning out of late, its thick, vintage-sounding Big-Muff fuzz a heavy presence throughout the album’s 11 tracks. When held against its predecessor, 2015’s Manipulator, this album feels more raw, more visceral and ready to come off the rails at any moment. That’s just an illusion, though. You don’t very well release a dozen full-length records in less than 10 years without getting the songwriting part airtight, and while Segall’s sound has retreated from polish and sheen, beneath all the guitar screech and heavy psychedelic bombast are some fantastic little rock numbers. From the very first track, “Squealer,” the album…

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