Ty Segall & White Fence Joy Drag City
“We are who we say we are!” announce Ty Segall and Tim Presley on Good Boy. As mission statements come, this one is blunt but believable. An endearing rough and tumble through hallucinogenic neo-psychedelia, Joy is the follow-up to Ty Segall and White Fence’s first madcap collaboration, 2012’s Hair. And although the garage rock oddballs revel in absurdities, you can’t ever accuse them of faking their enthusiasm.
Presley’s vintage sounds are a great foil for Segall’s subversive, sometimes glam take on garage, and the record veers enjoyably between sappy and silly. A Nod is about trying to please everyone but losing yourself in the process, with an economic but touching refrain: “I want to be believe in me”. Tommy’s Place is a high-pitched ode to a favourite spot: “I think I’m going to pop! I don’t think I can stop!” Mini-epic Hey Joel, Where You Going With That? riffs on the death of rock with stupid puns (“yellow sandwich submarine”), 60s harmonies and a plodding, percussion-heavy breakdown.
Within 15 brisk tracks, skits add extra texture: Rock Flute is the product of a squeaky door hinge and, perhaps, a dog toy. This theory appears to be confirmed when Other Way opens with playful canine growls, before wrungout guitars and snapped, screamed vocals result in the album’s heaviest minute. Sometimes the jam sesh lacks drive, but even if Joy isn’t the most essential record in either artist’s deep discography, it’s a gratifying testimony to capturing a moment when it feels right.