Ty Segall
Emotional Mugger


3.5
great

Review

by wtferrothorn USER (36 Reviews)
January 17th, 2016 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Just another day in the life of Ty Segall

I think it’s safe to say that Ty Segall is the king of garage rock at the moment, and has been for a while. After 7 busy years, 8 solo records, numerous side projects, and a knack for consistency, he’s more than earned the title by now. Emotional Mugger shows an understanding of his role in modern rock music, as he’s now decided to throw his listeners a curveball by following up the more accessible Manipulator with one of his heaviest, most abrasive releases yet. Over 38 minutes, Segall delivers 11 tracks of relentless garage punk madness. Songs like “California Hills” and especially “Diversion” (the latter probably being the heaviest track of the year so far) don’t hold back with Ty’s signature fuzzy guitar turned up to the max. Segall also makes sure to deliver quality songwriting to give a purpose to these songs other than the riffs. A perfect example of this is “Mandy Cream”, whose tight riff and dynamic drums are built around an incredibly catchy, if not a bit repetitive, vocal melody and closing out with a face-melting guitar solo that ends the song off wonderfully. I could really only point out a few times where the melody was weak enough to be buried under the noisy instrumentation. Even the bass gets its time to shine on “Squealer 2” with a wonderful groove that runs throughout the track to give the song its own distinctive taste. Overall, Emotional Mugger has more than a handful of tracks that will stick with you throughout the remaining 11 months of the year, and probably more.

Emotional Mugger is at its best when it sticks to a more traditional garage punk formula: roughly 3-minutes songs densely packed with grit, energy, and pure emotion extracted from a simple instrumental palette of drums, bass, and guitar. It's when the album deviates from the blueprint that things get shaky. The most obvious departure from his usual sound is with “W.U.O.T.W.S.”, an experiment that goes nowhere. Instead of forming an intriguing musical experience or at least creating any interesting textures, it just sounds like he simply programmed two studio rehearsals into separate sound channels. There’s also title track, whose shortcomings are a bit more subtle. Easily the longest cut on the album at 5 minutes, the song doesn’t justify its length and seems to get a bit stale by the 3 minute mark with a riff that pales in comparison to others that inhabit the record. A time when this tinkering does work out is on “California Hills” whose slow build up in pace eventually climaxes at the end of the track with an insane guitar freakout and drum solo, resulting in one of the best songs of the record and the greatest moment overall.

The fact that almost every time Segall tries something different on Emotional Mugger it doesn’t live up to his regular shtick (an immensely entertaining shtick, mind you) reveals the main issue with Emotional Mugger: a lack of creativity rooted in a sense of comfortability. Ty Segall is plagued with the same problem many a garage rock/punk artist has faced: creating a magnum opus. The Strokes have Is This It, The Stooges have two masterpieces, but no other garage rock albums have reached that point of mind-blowing classic status that I can think of. Ty Segall has yet to find his Fun House, and Emotional Mugger sadly isn’t that; but I have a feeling it’s not trying to be that. Instead, Emotional Mugger is Segall’s attempt to bring a much rougher, grimier sound to modern rock after gaining a much larger following with Manipulator. Not only is that a commendable effort, but one that results in another solid release by the king of modern garage rock.



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user ratings (145)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
wtferrothorn
January 18th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Listen to this over at NPR Music: http://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462671881/first-listen-ty-segall-emotional-mugger?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=music



Thanks to Jacquibim for proofreading this review. Any other feedback is appreciated greatly.

jercohen
January 18th 2016


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought Ty really expanded his sound and got a lot freakier- maybe it wasn't groundbreakingly different, but there was definitely some super cool new sounds that I haven't heard out of him. He played with tempo and layering way more than he has in the past.



I think this album is my favourite of his. At first you might be a bit confused at what's going on, but the craziness in this album is what keeps me coming back.



Also his fuzz tone is absurdly amazing

Jacquibim
Staff Reviewer
January 18th 2016


3625 Comments


Review is def an improvement, pos.

One small thing: "Emotional Mugger has more than a* handful of tracks..."

Other than that, nice job : )

wtferrothorn
January 18th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks, i took your advice and tried to stay posi ;]

DoofusWainwright
January 18th 2016


19991 Comments


Does being so ridiculously prolific help this cat's cause? Seems like a dude in a hurry to release 50 albums everyone thinks are 'pretty good, not bad'.

Has he released a classic?

wtferrothorn
January 18th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, like I said in the review, I can't think of many modern garage bands that have released a classic, so consistency is usually the winning feature. Plus, I'm pretty sure Ty's stuff has been received better than "pretty good, not bad".

DoofusWainwright
January 18th 2016


19991 Comments


A bit better than that maybe but for example he's not very hyped on this site at all.

I really liked the first Fuzz album, wasn't too far off the level where it'd become something really special. I just get the feeling he releases too much material but you might be right, perhaps it's just a pitfall of the genres he's operating in that he won't drop a classic

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
January 18th 2016


1386 Comments


I wouldn't say he's topped Slaughterhouse, which was under the Ty Segall Band moniker rather than just Ty Segall. His solo stuff is consistently good, but never has much staying power. That said, I'll probably check this out.

Couple of sentences here and there which could be reworded to aid the flow, such as;

"When the album occasionally tries to deviate from that blueprint, that’s where things gets shaky."

"It's when the album deviates from the blueprint that things get shaky."

Minor things like that to keep in mind for future reviews.

wtferrothorn
January 18th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@Doof I feel that garage rock/punk is often overlooked on Sputnik in general, but w/e





wtferrothorn
January 19th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh shit, just noticed this got featured! thanks whoever did it

WillieD
January 21st 2016


227 Comments


The mastering isn't too loud, at least. I mean, it could be quieter, but I'm happy enough with it.

wtferrothorn
January 21st 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nah, the louder the better >:].







Not really, but you get what I'm going at. This album was meant to be blasted at high volumes

doomjitsu
January 21st 2016


1240 Comments


it's ovah it's ovah oh old friend it's ovah

SonofSnow
January 23rd 2016


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This felt just a bit too disjointed for me. A bit disappointing.

jtswope
January 23rd 2016


5788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Manipulator was solid. I'll check this.

JamieTwort
January 24th 2016


26988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Some of the best production I've heard on a Ty album right here.

wtferrothorn
January 28th 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've discovered that "Diversion" makes for a wonderful alarm, wakes me up real fast. Thanks Ty! :]

rabidfish
February 2nd 2016


5513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hey, this isn't in spotify yet? Where can I listen to it?

Digging: JP Bimeni And The Black Belts - Free Me

wtferrothorn
February 3rd 2016


5847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah a lot of Ty's newer stuff isn't on Spotify. I don't know what the case is for Apple Music or tidal, but if those fail you're gonna have to just either buy it or download illegally

rabidfish
February 3rd 2016


5513 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

fuck it, Imma stream it on YT before it gets taken down.



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