One of most reliable indie record labels going is the Memphis label Goner, which has putting out lo-fi garage and punk rock for well over a decade now. Most of the acts still are strictly underground, so Goner may be best known for launching the career of the late Jay Reatard. The label is consistently good and, like many small indie labels, has a devoted following that will buy pretty much anything it releases.
The San Francisco psych-garage rocker Ty Segall may be next Goner act that could make some noise with almost-mainstream, as Reatard did before his untimely death in January. Segall is probably the best artist among those riding latest the trend in garage rock, one in which trashy psychedelia, country, and roots rock has supplanted trashy three-chord hard rock and punk.
Segall's take on the psych-garage bests bands like Black Lips at their own game, and his snarly fuzz-guitar tones, super-loose arrangements and performances, and bored, stoned-sounding delivery can't hide his knack for sharp pop hooks and his fondness for old-timer acts like the Rolling Stones, Alex Chilton, and T. Rex.
I look forward to seeing where Segall goes with his music. As much as I like the raw and shambolic aspects of his lo-fi approach, I'd love to see what he can do with a more sober performance next time out. Maybe lose some of the affectations in his voice and play it straight, to let his substantial songwriting abilities stand out, instead of the deliberately damaged sound.
Melted is front-loaded with the album's best songs, b
ut at just 10 songs and 30 minutes, it's a breeze to listen to. Note: Ty Segall is scheduled to appear Thursday, August 5, at the Trunk Space.
Best song: "Caesar"
Deja vu: Jay Reatard minus The Adverts and multiplied by Black Lips.
I'd rather listen to: Label-mateHarlan T. Bobo's Sucker Grade: B+
"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.