Conventional wisdom—or, at the very least, the law of averages—dictates that Ty Segall should release more sub-par material. Twins is his third long-player of 2012, coming three months after Slaughterhouse, credited to Ty Segall Band, and five months after Hair, his collaboration with fellow garage-punk wunderkind White Fence. But despite what listeners might expect of a guy dropping his third album in less than half a year’s time, not only does Twins prove an exciting and vital listen, it’s Segall’s second consecutive album of guitar-heavy, rough-and-tumble rock ’n’ roll—the Nuggets disciple’s best stylistic look.
Whereas Segall’s breakout album, 2011’s Goodbye Bread, took a turn for clean-by-comparison pop hooks and straightforward songcraft, and Hair was a little weirder and more evil-sounding thanks to White Fence’s influence, Slaughterhouse and Twins are beasts. They’re of a kind with the feral melodies that fueled 2010’s Melted and 2009’s Lemons, all hip shaking and distorted, catchy but still cacophonous sounds, albeit now with more guitar theatrics. Twins speaks to the listener who’s been down with Segall since those early cuts collected on 2011’s excellent, scrappy Singles 2007-2010, but the language it uses understands that that listener has matured in the years since Segall dropped those earliest cuts—indeed, Segall has matured as well, it seems.
To that end, Twins isn’t all hard-nosed riffage. Segall stretches out on “Inside Your Heart,” allowing himself some classic-rock noodling and letting the whole thing slowly unravel at the end. “Thank God For Sinners” is a glorious opener, coupling its devil-may-care leanings with an arms-to-heaven chorus. On sweetly titled numbers like “Love Fuzz” and “Would You Be My Love,” Segall indulges in a falsetto, and “Gold On The Shore” is a lovely, Beatles-esque acoustic piece. Amid the noise, there are calm-before-the-storm moments to keep things uneasy.
It’s this unpredictability that keeps Segall’s batting average so high. He’s unafraid to release a compilation of older, ragged stuff following his most accessible album to date, to follow a spacey collaboration with a couple of gut punchers, or to instill those heavier records with moments of beautiful levity. His twitchy inclinations, the multitudes influencing and contradicting each other, keep him just off-kilter enough to stay exciting.