emotional mugger

Genre: Garage Rock, Garage Punk

Favorite Tracks: “Squealer,” “Breakfast Eggs,” “Candy Sam”

A brief aside: we typically try to include tracks within reviews, but since we caught the pre-release stream on NPR, we cannot offer this service at this time. You can stream EMOTIONAL MUGGER for yourself here.

What is Emotional Mugging??? This past November, the lo-fi prodigy Ty Segall dropped an informative infomercial pertaining to the “psychoanalytic subject to subject exchange formed as a response to a hyper-digital ‒ sexual landscape.” Here, Dr. Segall himself notifies the current listening generation of their inadvertent tendency  to “EM” one another; to engage in nonverbal and non-physical emotional exchange. Emotional mugging entraps the victim’s emotional purpose in an air-tight seal, but fear not misses, misters, and others ‒ Ty and his gang of muggers are here to fill the holes in your emotional ego. Simply call their hotline 1-800-281-2968, and a representative will help you vocalize those mommy/daddy issues and unshackle those undulating feelings pressed against that suppressed mind with a prescription for EMOTIONAL MUGGER, Ty Segall’s 10th LP.

Ty has found his essence rare ‒ EMOTIONAL MUGGER aptly manipulates the listener into a deep, psychological frenzy. If the creepy baby on the cover hasn’t established the album’s torrential emphasis on infantile appetite, than the slew of big-top synths and off-kilter guitar licks will surely swindle the listener out of cognitive lucidity and drive Ty’s dogma home: we are all victims of lethal dependency. MANIPULATOR, Segall’s previous release, was a polished effort in crafting accessible garage rock. EMOTIONAL MUGGER robs Segall of his genteel progression, leaving him back at square one. EMOTIONAL MUGGER is undisciplined and untamed, an exasperated infant that warrants love and attention.

emotional mugger ty segall one

Photo Credit: Gabriella Fooks

“Squealer,” the album’s first track, quickly highlights Ty’s oddball predilections. Cirque melodies erupt from a clamorous synth and coax the instruments into a lashing tantrum. “Loosen up/Come stay awhile/Put your feet up/Let’s make a child,” Segall chants as he sways from his trademark feathery falsetto to a goblin-esque grumble. “Squealer” is the thumper that conceives EMOTIONAL MUGGER’s fertile trove of weirdo-glam jams.

“Breakfast Eggs is a groggy, cradle jam. “I’m looking and touching her little legs/I’m making her favorite breakfast eggs/I want her to be my Uncle Sam/And she can throw me in the trash.” Meandering lyrics and woozy melodic arrangements, coupled with a Syd Barrett quirkiness, catapults the jangly track into an exploratory realm.

“Candy Sam” marks the second song to make mention of candy, childish giggles and gibberish enhancing Segall’s puerile/DIY approach to rock ‘n’ roll. “Pick me up/I am done/Candy’s gone/ No more fun/High and Dry/I am done/Candy Sam, give us some.” EMOTIONAL MUGGER is both a satire of lo-fi and a scuzzy homage to the psychedelic mystique of T. Rex and The Beatles. Emulating the discordant pop jams of kitsch godfathers, Devo, Ty takes a piss out of his own music, but gosh, it’s rad!

emotional mugger ty segall two

Photo Credit: Gabriella Fooks

Segall’s partiality for DIY enthused production shines yet again on EMOTIONAL MUGGER, but with an offbeat twang. Tracks like “Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess” and “Baby Big Man (I Want A Mommy)” are overly-layered with warbling tempos. Ty Jackson Pollocks the fuzz to a point where the melody warps, leaving the listener to sift through an audible stream of consciousness. Basking in its off-kilter glory, EMOTIONAL MUGGER succeeds in extracting the unrefined essence of garage rock.

emotional mugger ty segall three

Photo Credit: Gabriella Fooks

On the eve of January 15th at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, Ty launched the release of EMOTIONAL MUGGER on stage and reaffirmed the album’s devolutionist essence. Opening with “Squealer,” Segall entered the stage donning a unsettling baby mask and preceded to drool uncontrollably into the pit between every verse. Drooling was followed by hand licking and thumb sucking. Ty thrusted his lubricated body parts at the audience, one of many infantile mannerisms that begged for affection. Teething at any hat or camera he could snag from the audience, Ty culminated his live performance of select EMOTIONAL MUGGER tracks with the passionate phrase “Let us all have children together!” Segall has birthed yet another psychedelic venture and invites us to raise a new generation of scuzz-rockers.

Verdict: Recommend

Sabina Fooks

Sabina's a guest contributor here at Crossfader. When she's not preoccupied with consuming copious amounts of FAMILY FEUD and cereal, you can find her at your local music venue, fiercely avoiding her hankering for more Steve Harvey and frosted mini wheats.

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