Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Let's Talk About This Axis: Sova Album That's Out Today On Ty Segall's GOD? Imprint Via Drag City

I don't know much about this Axis:Sova act beyond two facts: 1) the new record is on the GOD? imprint of Drag City, an imprint overseen by Ty Segall, and 2) Early Surf, this second album from Axis:Sova, rocks like an animal in all the right ways.

Trippy and ferocious in spots, this is superb freak-out rock of the highest caliber. "Blinding White" sounds like a lost gem from a Nuggets comp., while "Afflicted Taste" is some new take on the sort of scuzzy rock that Primal Scream were once desperately trying to perfect. The brilliantly named "Ask Me About My Smell" answers the question of what a Loop/Spacemen 3 collaboration would have sounded like in 1988, while "Secret Hand" very nearly rides to its conclusion on a riff that wouldn't have sounded too out of place on an early Super Furry Animals record.

"Fractal Ancestry" uses a fast beat -- drum machine? -- to anchor the cut that is pure warped Fu Manchu only filtered through a Royal Trux haze.

For every bit on Early Surf that does indeed sound like Ty Segall, there are loads more that remain expansions on his template. Opener "We Turn Pale", despite its acid rock vibe, owes more to early Sabbath than anything else. There's a jazzy sense of experimentation here that places it in a different place than Ty Segall's stuff, even if the following cut, "Blinding White", does indeed sound like Ty's best work.

But I'm not gonna peg Axis:Sova as a Ty Segall acolyte. If you like Ty's albums, you'll probably like this. A lot. But if you want something more, something more expansive and nearly dangerous, you should grab Early Surf, out today on Drag City.