Ty Segall’s Melted was one of the records that changed my life. I remember the day very well. It was when Bull City Records was still next to Cosmic Cantina, above the Avid video near Ninth Street. I had been dabbling around in 90s indie rock like Sebadoh, Dinosaur jr., Pixies, and Ween, but really hadn’t gotten into anything that underground. One day, and I still don’t remember exactly what happened, but I had just started my junior year in college, which was the first year I brought my turntable to college, and Chaz did the usual “listen to these records that you should like.” But he didn’t put on the typical indie stuff I had been listening to. He started out by playing King Khan & the BBQ Show’s Invisible Girl. One thing led to another and I walked out of the store with four records that basically made me love garage rock. Jay Reatard’s 2008 Matador Singles, King Khan & The BBQ Show’s Invisible Girl, Nobunny’s First Blood, and Ty Segall’s Melted, which he said I’d like because it had a lot of grunge elements (and to this day, Nirvana is still my favorite band, even though I think it’s hip to hate on them now).
Four years later, and seven or eight full-lengths with Segall’s fingers in them, Ty still manages to wow me. Manipulator, his new 2 x LP on indie powerhouse label Drag City, is all-killer-no-filler. It’s the kind of record that can get an indie kid into T. Rex, Hawkwind, The Zombies, David Bowie, and a fuckton more good bands. “Where do these influences come from?” someone new might ask. The answer? In the fuckin’ bins, dog. Dig yourself, Lazarus, dig! This release has seventeen songs from all sorts of rock n’ roll lineage and it tore off the influences from its arm patch and decided to iron them onto its face like a Mike Tyson tattoo. Did you see that teaser video? The one where Ty’s like straight rollin’ around in a limo with makeup and rhinestone teardrops? That shit is awesome. This shit is awesome.
I could say something profound about genre and music culture as a whole, cause that’s what muddatruckin’ professional reviews do but let’s be honest. Music criticism is lame and filled with creative jealousy. Fuck it. This record is great. Long live rock n’ roll. Long live Ty Segall! Long live the Manipulator!