If I told you that Steve Albini recorded a live album from Ty Segall and his Freedom Band, I think you could guess how it would sound. And while there's no real shock here on Deforming Lobes, said live album, out on Friday via Drag City, there is a whole lot of riff-making. Segall, ever the master of this sort of thing, uses this set to cut loose and burn through numbers from his recent back-catalog.
With a band that features members of Fuzz and The Cairo Gang, Ty rocks into the void with the buzzing "Warm Hands", a number from his self-titled album, before doing the title cut from Squealer in a nearly-unhinged fashion. Segall, one of the best guitarists active today as far as I'm concerned, wisely never lets this sort of thing descend into metal-isms. He imbues stuff like "They Told Me Too" (from Twins) with a lot of punk attitude, even as he seasons "Love Fuzz" from the same album with a dash of grunge. The players here -- Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart, Emmett Kelly, and Ben Boye -- carry their weight too, but Segall is front and center, his axe doing as much of the work here as his voice. That the band can keep up with him as he runs up the guitar-neck is something to be applauded.
The truth is, and maybe it's thanks to Steve Albini's efforts here, but lots of Deforming Lobes sounds like it's about to come apart at the seams. It's a downright glorious racket that drives this rare live album without a bit of audience noise. Albini managed to capture something that sounds epic and unruly, even as the material coalesces around Segall's role as the front-man for an outfit channeling influences from some Nuggets-era sides and a whole bunch of glam-rock stuff. Segall's always been doing that, of course, but Albini somehow caught the noise of it spiraling into the heart of the sun, any trace of studio professionalism jettisoned way earlier.
Deforming Lobes is out on Friday via Drag City.
More details on Ty Segall via his official Facebook page.
[Photo: Denee Segall]