Personnel: Ty Segall (vocals, guitar); Mikal Cronin (vocals); Charles Moothart (guitar); Emily Rose Epstein (drums).
Audio Mixer: Chris Woodhouse.
Recording information: The Hangar, Sacramento, CA (02/18/2012-02/21/2012).
Photographer: Madeline Allard.
Ty Segall's music has grown progressively more sophisticated and better behaved since he left the Epsilons and struck out on his own in 2008, but anyone wondering what he might have sounded like if he'd gone in the opposite direction and gotten louder and more crazed with the passage of time gets to see this alternate reality come to life on the album Slaughterhouse. Opening with a long blast of feedback and electric guitar punishment before shifting into the full-on rock & roll assault of "Death," Slaughterhouse quickly announces its desire to bring the rock with no need for nuance, and while a careful listen reveals the pysch-leaning melodies that are Segall's bread and butter haven't gone missing, they take a back seat to great slabs of electric guitar noise and crashing drums, echoing as if this album had been recorded in Carlsbad Caverns, and this is a manic, speedy assault that's part punk, part garage rock, part metal, and all grand-scale distorted roar. Segall's vocals are mixed high enough to compete with the full-bore attack of the guitars and drums, but Slaughterhouse is credited to the Ty Segall Band for a reason; this music doubtless reflects his vision, but the final product is a group effort, and even on the poppiest and most cheerful numbers, Segall and his bandmates recall some crazed biker gang who have come to town to feed your children bad drugs and leave them deaf. And the lo-fi thunder of Slaughterhouse is consistently remarkable, brimming with energy, passion, and raw sweat; in the grand tradition of Blue Cheer, this is an album that's impossible to play quietly, and if this music is an assault, by the time Segall is midway through "Fuzz War," don't be surprised if you're signing on for this particular fight club. ~ Mark Deming