Mr. Face EP
It would be a full-time job trying to keep up with Mr Segall who, at 27, plays in half-a-dozen bands or so, releases an album of “new” music (usually fuzz-drenched and stoner-rock-meets-glam-sounding, so determinedly retro as such) and probably still has his own full-time job too.
So here with his first release of 2015 – I’m sure there’ll be a handful more before the end of the year – we have the gimmick of what is being billed as the world’s first playable pair of 3D glasses; an EP split over blue and red coloured vinyl. Put the discs together over your face (see bottom pic; hence the title ‘Mr Face’) and you’ll get a less blurred version of the cover image. You play the music then you make the glasses to look at the cover image.
Well that’s all good and fun – but I don’t actually care about that and can, er, fortunately look past it. I do care about the music though, a smart wee entry point, at just 14 minutes. I’ve listened to a few of Segall’s other albums but have never found the time to listen to them over and over, have never been grabbed to review something. But the four songs here give you all you need – the opening, title tune a happy little acoustic ditty with a slight folk-blues stomp feels like so many “retro” acts (The Black Angels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Lips, and probably a few without the name ‘Black’ in the title too), but when it’s stoned-over groove creeps in we’re taken back to the late-60s, it’s Spirit in full wig-out jam-band mode, even if for only a minute or two as the track plays out.
Then it’s to the shining, shimmering glam-slam of Circles, a brief drum solo to begin, Brant Bjork-styles somewhat, then it’s into those Bowie/Bolan mash-ups Ty loves.
Drug Mugger takes another Brant Bjork-like groove for a stroll, mid-70s stoner feel this time and easily reminiscent of Segall’s work on last year’s Manipulator.
And then we close with a ballad, The Picture. It’s a last-drinks song, sounding a bit like what Keef might have dreamed up as a last-minute contribution to Beggars Banquet, his Salt of The Earth recast in a more spectral hue as a coda.