TY SEGALL AND WHITE FENCE: JOY

July 23rd, 2018 | Album reviews

TY SEGALL AND WHITE FENCE
Joy
Drag City

Joy, this second joint effort between Ty Segall and White Fence’s Tim Presley, acts as a kind of parallax—it changes as you look at it. Just when the shape of the album begins to assert itself, the proverbial rug is pulled out from underneath you. Which is all to say: this album demands attention. It is not background music—it won’t allow itself to be! It’s all form and beauty. It owes a bit to the history of Roky Erickson and Syd Barrett and to the minds of the Beats. It’s sort of on a Dadaist/absurdist bent, and is so much better for it. By turns, Joy is sinewy and robust, agile and unpredictably creative. Ty and Tim obliterate convention and play with definition. There are echoes of Tim’s early band Nerve Agents and Ty’s time in Traditional Fools and Epsilons, but this is an album pointing in all directions at once. This rarely gets mentioned in reviews, but the sequencing on this album is second to none. These songs bleed into each other, picking up the threads perhaps discarded three songs ago and creating this chapter-like effect to the proceedings. The aesthetics utilized in recording this album are also remarkable. I have no idea how they mic’d the session, but it seems to this listener that each application (and placement) of instrumentation and mixing technique tells a story on this album. The crispness of the hi-hat here, the decay/static hiss of the ride cymbal there (“She is Gold”) and the arrangements are a testament to effectively putting ideas into practice. They turn classic rock on its head and challenge the parameters of punk, making this creation completely their own. These are two practitioners railing at the simple-minded folks who want to rely on category.

—Nathan Martel

TY SEGALL AND WHITE FENCE’S JOY IS AVAILABLE ON FRI., JULY 20, FROM DRAG CITY.