Slaughterhouse, the debut from the Ty Segall Band, represents the heaviest incarnation of Segall's signature sound, possibly because he recorded it with his touring group—guitarist Mikal Cronin, bassist Charlie Moothart, and drummer Emily Rose Epstein—though he's worked with all three on previous recordings.
Throughout the two-10" set, there's more feedback, more wailing, more pounding. Consequently, I was disappointed by the thuddering single, "Wave Goodbye." Though no one would confuse this outfit with Sleep, "That's the Bag I'm In" has a doom-metal feel, while the instrumental "Fuzz War" splices "Iron Man" with "Dazed and Confused."
Segall likes to cover Black Sabbath in concert, so he's been down this road before, but the idea of a stoner-rock release wasn't especially appealing to me, in part because it isn't my scene, but also because he has such well-honed pop skills. No matter how much distortion Segall ladles on top of his melodies, there are always formally constructed songs underneath. Snippets of studio chatter also reinforce the live-to-tape impression, but I found it more distracting than not.
The acid-rock "I Bought My Eyes," however, captures the Segall I know and love, the kind of guy who prizes his Sundazed reissues as much as his SST records, except it's an anomaly. There's also a sloppy-punk rendition of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy," but the rest of the record is sludgier than necessary. If I prefer Segall solo or with White Fence, Slaughterhouse isn't bad, just less essential.
Segall in a suit—wait, what?! (I'm enjoying this development.)
In the Red releases Slaughterhouse on June 26 (stream it here). The Ty Segall Band is currently on tour with Thee Oh Sees. They play Bumbershoot Sept. 3.