by Philip Moss
When you’ve released as many albums as Ty Segall has, the quality control tag will always get banded about. But this, his 13th solo record in 11 years, certainly stands out amongst his back catalogue, and is more than worthy of your ears.
Eclecticism isn’t a word you wouldn’t usually associate the Californian, with too many of his LPs following an all too familiar fuzz rock, garage blueprint. And while there are plenty of scuzzy moments, First Taste also features some of his most melodic ever compositions too. Whatever’s distorted vocals are nothing new in the Segall canon, but its musicality has a barrel load of groove. Large sections of Ice Plant are a cappella – and depict the kind of acid soaked imagery found in the works of the Flaming Lips or Tyrannosaurus Rex. The drum solo that dominates The Fall is totally unnecessary, but second single, Radio, is a glorious carnival – recalling the Maharishi-era Beatles – and is awash with colourful horns and sitars.
For long term fans, First Taste may not prove to be the Californian’s most vital album – Emotional Mugger or Manipulator probably still take that crown – but this could be his most fun.