At this point in his career, Ty Segall has more or less stripped away all of the guesswork for fans content to dig into his trenchant ’60s and ’70s-inspired catalog of garage rock. Let other artists worry about being cornered or pigeon-holed, because Segall appears perfectly happy reveling in his role as the American rock underground’s preeminent garage savant.
And to be honest, who can blame him? Segall’s campy, lo-fi take on the pre-punk sounds of the ’60s is fun, no-nonsense, and about as raw and untamed as anything today’s sprawling independent scene has to offer. It also helps that he releases material and forms side projects hand over fist. One such outfit, The Traditional Fools, recorded a debut EP of surf-inspired garage punk that has been left to collect dust since its initial recording in 2008. Now rereleased though In The Red Records, the band’s self-titled offering hasn’t withered in spite of its time on the shelf.
While the record is cut from the same ragged cloth as Segall’s other work, that doesn’t take away from the fun to be had. Songs like “Snot Rag” and “Shredstick” thrash along like Link Wray and Dick Dale on steroids, effortlessly marrying sun-soaked surf rock with the dirtier sounds of bands like the Dead Boys. Otherwise, Segall, Andrew Luttrell, and David Fox offer up a host of short but pungent slabs of messy garage punk (“Get Off My Back”, “Kill Someone You Hate”, All-Right”).
The surf overtones provide for a few new wrinkles, but otherwise The Traditional Fools dishes out much of what Segall’s fans have come to expect. But considering the end result is a lot of lean, loud, fast, and sometimes incoherent fun, it’s easy to forgive the record for falling into sonic holding patterns.
Essential Tracks: “Snot Rag”, “Kill Someone You Hate”, and “All-Right”