Three Record Reviews – Ty Segall, Modern Vices, The Pagans

Ty Segall – “The Singer”

8e7507d5Prolific is hardly the word for him. A genre spanning artist seems, well, a limiting definition when placed on San Francisco garage/noise/independent rock songwriter, Ty Segall.

Segall’s newest single, “The Singer” pulled from his August release (the seventh of his illustrious, yet young career) Manipulator is a weird sort of spectrum of all his divergent influences. With dreamy Beatles vocals, swirling guitars with blistering solo, and ascending strings, all thrown together with minimal production, the song is a beautiful example of high indie aesthetic. An argument can be made that “The Singer” is among the more complete tracks in Segall’s repetoire, a meticulous construction from an album that clocks in as the longest in both terms of length and time of production in his career. About to embark on a broad tour of Europe, Segall may be your secret tock genius, but not for long.

Check out more about Segall, his album and tour on the Drag City website.

Modern Vices – Modern Vices

modern-vices-artSomewhere on a mucky, pot-holed road connecting 50’s doo-wop and lo-fi garage rock-n-roll is where I would first attempt to characterize the sound of Modern Vices. Sounds impossible, eh?

Well, the collection of eleven tracks on the Chicago band’s self-titled record serves as an improbably brilliant debut. Whether your poison tends toward the more down tempo (“Nothing So Cold”) or the unabashed, sway inducing (“Don’t Hold Me Now” and “As It Never Came”) the Modern Vices provide ample material for your fall music mix.

Listening to Alex Rebek’s vocals forces me to images of red stage curtains, where dark clad bandmates play and a broken, mirror ball light dances across their drab expressions. There is a whole hell of a lot of mood. Taking the obvious vocal appeal off the forefront, the fuzzy guitars lend the album an absolutely delightful washed out feeling that never belies or trivializes the plaintive, world worn motif.

You can read about Modern Vices as well as get a copy of this release at Autumn Tone Records.

Mike Hudson & The Pagans – Hollywood High

mike-hudson-the-pagans-hollywood-highBlistering guitar punk has the longest shelf life of any rock form. Want some evidence that what worked then still works now? Take The Pagans, a second wave Cleveland punk band (think of Pere Ubu as contemporaries) whose first new album in twenty years, Hollywood High delivers the same gut punch as decades ago.

At the epicenter of The Pagans is Mike Hudson, journalist, performer and now punk/no-rock revivalist. Comparisons to Pere Ubu are off, in my book. The Pagans always struck me as disciples of the New York Dolls school. The eight tracks on Hollywood High display a stunning degree of versatility, from the gritty and languid, sex fantasy epic, “Fame Whore” to the bitter, tooth and nails “Detention Home” and “I Just Got Home.” It’s all sex and drugs and absolutely no lament. A beautiful thing, really.

The record isn’t due out until November 4th, so hold your horses. Link up here for more info.

To read other record reviews on Well-Lighted Etcetera, check out the page.