Three Bells by Ty Segall album review by Ben Lock for Northern Transmissions


Three Bells

Ty Segall

Ty Segall has managed to travel through the wilderness of Psych Rock/Garage Rock/Folk Rock/and Krautrock to arrive at a place that showcases his most zany and genius-touched batch of songs yet. When it comes to Ty Segall, I think almost everything has been said. He is one of the
most prolific and genre-bending artists of the past two decades. The man truly throws every ounce of paint at the canvas on this album. With one of the most maximalist production sounds yet, Ty brings us into his world with his everchanging progressive songs reminiscent of 80s King
Crimson and Frank Zappa.

After the release of the introspective and acoustic album Hello, Hi, which came out in July 2022, Ty was excited about playing his instruments and creating songs by simply playing and figuring out as he would go. The guitar and drumming performances on this record feel very considered and tight, and one track that showcases this very well is the first track on the LP, “The Bell,” which builds and changes constantly but never feels cold or disconnected from the original idea. The opener is similar to one of Ty’s biggest and most epic songs, “Warm Hands (Freedom Returned),” as it is an ever-changing rollercoaster of a track that continues to surprise you during the first listen. Moving forward to the second track, your hit with another absolute monster of a song, “Void,” which proves Ty’s progressive songwriting abilities once more with a song that evolves from a paranoid and frantic opening guitar riff to a B section filled with impressive chord changes and dynamics, although the guitar leads can be a little obnoxious at points it’s one of the craziest songs on the record and has a totally sick ending with brilliant guitar harmonies and big vocal moments.

The guitar tone is at its nastiest in “I Hear,” with its wildly flanged and fuzzed-out leads in the intro to the guitars that come in later in the verses. This stanky little funk jam is a simple and fun rock n roll moment after the grandiose intro of the first two tracks, and I think it’s well-needed. The shredding funk continues on the next couple of tracks, “Hi Dee Dee ” and “My best friend,” which I believe is a song dedicated to his beloved Dachshund pup, Mr. Herman. The light-hearted jam builds to epic highs and groovy lows within its pop-structured 3-minute and 16-second run time. “Reflections” has a very relaxed psych-rock feel with modulated guitars and walking bass lines until it gets to its very dissonant and jarring bridge section, which reminds me a bit of some freakier John Lennon songs like the changes in “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and “Wild Honey Pie.”

“Reflections” brings us to the first track that features Denee Segall, who is a huge part of Ty’s inspiration and life. I have to be completely transparent about the next song, “Eggman,” it is probably my least favourite song on the album. Though it has similar characteristics to Ty’s past work on Emotional Mugger, it is one of the most unnerving and nauseating songs on the record with probably the most fucked up guitar sound and irritating vocals. Although the weirdness is impressive, it’s a little too abrasive for my taste. Following “Eggman” is “My Room,” which is a ripping tune full of gorgeous chord changes and nasty guitar harmonies and “The Watcher,” which is a good mix of the sounds off of Ty’s latest album Hello, Hi and the cohesive guitar sound and complex drumming of this record.

The discordant vibe of “Eggman” comes back on “ Repetition” and haunts my ears but in a slightly more charming way reminiscent of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The experimentation continues on “To You” with even more instrumentation, such as wood blocks, flexitones, and tense keyboard sounds. This track is actually pretty fucking crazy despite its lack of normalcy. This song has a great chorus and a freaky grooviness to the outro/breakdown part. The next three songs give the whole record some context and bring this 15-song monster to an end in a classy and rock n roll fashion. “Wait” has a totally sick guitar solo at the end reminiscent of the great Eddie Hazel, with many overdubbed guitars squealing in harmony. “Denee” Is an evolution of Ty Segall the world has yet to see. This song is stripped back to only a few ingredients: gorgeous vocal harmonies, absolutely savage drumming, Tubby Bass playing, and ripping keys. The rhythms evolve and build within this funky jam that is catchy. Ty is just purely having fun jamming away at this track.

The wonky acoustic riff of “What Can We Do” ends this album off in a fun way that feels cohesive with the album while also not feeling too serious. Ty is a master of productivity and seems to relish in the minutia of the double Lp medium, and this album really encapsulated his ability to get lost in the music and create whatever the fuck he wants. Although I think there are elements of this album that lack intention or get too weird, I really respect his ability to make whatever he wants and truly execute it.

Pre-order by Ty Segall HERE


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