Monday, April 9, 2012

New Ty Segall/White Fence, oOoOO


“I Am Not A Game”

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The first single from Hair, Ty Segall’s upcoming collaboration with Tim Presley’s White Fence, is the sort of almost novelty-like tribute to ‘60s garage-psych that every Bay Area band seems to be doing and that I have quite honestly become sick of. But don’t let that tacky little organ fool you: “I Am Not A Game” is a reminder of just why the world became so interested in San Francisco garage-rock in the first place. The duo uses lo-fi production squarely to their advantage, shrink-wrapping the vocals in piercing distortion to emphasize the eerie beauty of the background vocals, and their nostalgic touches (save the organ) are hardly tacky--just check out that epic, Woodstock-worthy guitar solo at the end. It also has that certain drive that was lacking on Segall’s most recent album, 2011’s Goodbye Bread. The chorus first comes in before you expect it to, then long after, and both times it is unbelievably satisfying when it hits. And then that guitar solo unwinds for miles and miles.



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Last week, SF Rebirth reviewed EELED, Inq frontman Dillon Lee’s solo debut as Tailed Ghost, which Lee has since expanded and combined with material for a planned second EP titled Dream Gurls to form a full album. The Dream Gurls material is significantly more sophisticated and developed than that which was previously featured on EELED, especially “Suzi,” which mixes electronics with Lee’s vocals and guitarwork as effectively as EELED standout “Pairadox.” However, both EPs come across as series of electronic sketches Lee made more for himself rather than the music-listening universe. But let us not write off Tailed Ghost; the project seems to be developing rapidly, and my eye is trained on it as well as on Lee’s even more promising main project.


Our Love Is Hurting Us EP

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San Francisco’s Christopher Dexter Greenspan was one of the original proponents of the much-maligned “witch house” genre when it surfaced about two years ago. It’s safe to say the genre’s staying power has been nonexistent, and the genre’s more open-minded adherents have moved on to better things (Balam Acab and... um... well, I guess just Balam Acab), but Greenspan, a.k.a. oOoOO, still stubbornly clings to the mutant goth-R&B formula he patented on earlier EPs (oOoOO has no full-length albums). Even despite help from Berlin producer Butterclock, the songs on oOoOO’s Our Love Is Hurting Us EP are unremarkable at best, sounding like tired reiterations of his earlier work that go nowhere both on a small and a large scale. Though sticking to what one does best isn’t always a bad thing, one must also remind their listeners it is what they do best, and I think Greenspan could certainly do better, even in such an anachronistic context.

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