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Ty Segall ties together the threads of his voluminous output to create his best record yet

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Unless you place a premium on melding disparate approaches within a single song, the ever-prolific Ty Segall doesn’t pull any genuinely new tricks on his most recent self-titled Drag City album, but he still sounds better than ever. Working with the most efficient band of his career—featuring fellow guitarist Emmett Kelly, bassist Mikal Cronin, drummer Charles Moothart, and keyboardist Ben Boye—Segall rips through and surveys his various modes with hook-fueled precision. Hurtling between post-Marc Bolan glam and seething punk, “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned)” is something of a groundbreaker for Segall in that it clocks in at ten minutes, interrupted by a loose jam that has the feel of the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” “Papers” conveys a warped psychedelic sweetness a la Donovan, and “Talkin’” ambles along with a twangy lope as Segall goes on about self-absorbed gossip, adding irresistible, casual vocal harmonies. “The Only One” delivers a furiously fuzzed-out, stomping howl that like so many of Segall’s tunes distinguishes itself from most caveman rock by the potency of its melody, while the gently beautiful “Orange Color Queen” reflects his John Lennon fixation right down to the spot-on, soulful falsetto. Segall and Kelly have an incredible bond, trading riffs and lacerating stabs with deft intuition, while Boye adds an unexpected accent, careening between Jerry Lee Lewis-style pounding and simpatico honky-tonk runs. It’s hard to think of any other songwriter whose output only improves the more he churns out.   v

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