Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin (Universal)

A decade into Ty Segall’s tireless, prolific recording career, we are met with his 10th album, Freedom’s Goblin.

The record starts with the triumphant ‘victory lap’ sound of the album’s first single, Fanny Dog – never one to waste time warming up to musical concepts, the album begins as it intends to continue, with full force.

This iteration of Ty (and there have been so many) continues his recent glam rock foray. Freedom’s Goblin’s sound is utterly enjoyable to music fans of all genres, all ages, all demographics – pairing absolutely un-mess-with-able musical prowess paired with the genuine edge Segall has on his peers for keeping things fresh from album to album.

Ty doesn’t do the whole ‘find a gold thing and polish it until there’s no gold left’ thing that a lot of current artists do, he finds something that works and uses it to propel his musical evolution forward, always.

Backed on this record by the fearsomely talented Freedom Band, which consists of frequent familiar collaborators; Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart, Emmett Kelly, and Ty’s newly minted wife, Denée Segall.

As a long time fan of Ty’s music, it’s exciting hearing his truly decent vocal chops at the forefront of this record. Melodious and tender, furious and powerful, there are true examples of range here.

Track three, a cover of Every 1’s a Winner by Hot Chocolate, is a truly groovy take on an already groovy song. As self-indulgent as covers can be, this one is properly fun, and truly sounds like the song has been run through the Ty Segall Machine, rather than just a safe regurgitation of the same notes.

When Mommy Kills You immediately harks back to classic Kiwi vets The Mint Chicks album Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!. Whether that be an immediate influence or pure coincidence, The Mint Chicks and Ty certainly could have crash landed here from the same bizarre-o planet, fuelled by frenetic drumming and panicked melodies.

On My Lady’s On Fire we open with some heavy Big Star-esque sweetness, all the pure simplicity of the 60s and 70s folk, with Mikal Cronin’s rolling thunder bass playing bringing us back to the current day.

Alta is pure sonic bliss. Recorded with none other than Steve Albini (whom Ty has apparently forged a not altogether unlikely kinship with), and employing the ever cool, ever effective ‘loud-quiet-loud’ pattern that has been the bones of so many musical legends for decades. The whole band are in full swing, and not one member is playing for singular praise – each is incomplete without the other (including some face-meltingly good solo guitar work).

Impatient to begin, and pleasantly drumming away, Charles Moothart opens Meaning. Denée, provides urgent vocals for the track which is as much a ‘protest song’ (“I see fear in freedom”), as it is a song for all the insincere calls to action that don’t take flight (“You’re filled with meaning, you’re filled with shit!”).

Shoot You Up is a rock-n-rolling classic, breaking no boundaries but doing all the cliches right, and She would not be out of place in a Ted Nugent b-side harking back to sleaze-bops like Strangehold. The guitar tones thick and muddy, garnished with deliciously white trash guitar licks.

As the album gets progressively psychedelic, experimental and jazzy, Talkin 3 roams a little too far from ‘direction’. While no artist is OBLIGATED to provide albums of hit after hit, songs like this start to smack of filler rather than killer.

No lyrical ground is broken on Freedom’s Goblin, however Ty Segall is an artist who could, as they say, ‘sing the telephone book’ and I’d still be enthralled by how he’d dress it all up.

Rebecca Hunter