White Fence and Ty Segall form a sort of garage rock Odd Couple. White Fence — the solo guise of the incredibly prolific Tim Presley — dabbles in reel-to-reel psychedelic pastiche complete with faux production mistakes such as undeleted outtakes and warped magnetic tape. His foil Ty Segall once wrote a song about buying a couch.
Nonetheless, the duo has a peanut butter and jelly like rapport on Hair, an album that effortlessly alternates between pop gems and guitar squelches.
If all goes according to plan, the duo will have released a total of five albums between them by year’s end, but Hair is far from slight
Lead single “I Am Not A Game” begins with a Doors-esque organ line before exploding into a foot-stomping, in-the-red guitar epic.
The album’s highlight “Crybaby” has Segall yelping like an acid damaged Little Richard over a mutant rockabilly-punk bass line.
In all, the album is virtually a drugged out tour of the genesis of rock and roll, but Presley and Segall keep the sound fresh by simply performing like two guys having the time of their life. Its easy to imagine the pair trading harebrained ideas and world class guitar solos between takes just to the pass time.
Collaborative records run the risk of becoming a segregated affair, but even when an verse or chorus can be tagged as distinctly Presley or unmistakably Segall, the music still feels cohesive. “Easy Ryder” features a tossed-off hook straight from the Ty Segall song book, but as a whole, Segall’s melodic ambitions smooth out Presley’s experimental tendencies.
Vise-versa, when a White Fence like sound experiment intrudes on the never ending parade of pop, the moment is a welcome change of pace. For instance, two-thirds of the way into “Scissor People,” the song breaks down into a stylistic collage of the same guitar chord performed with different production techniques. The effect makes for one of the most arresting stretches of the album.
The song’s aesthetic melange mimics that of the album, with the pair drawing from an vast array of mind-bending influences — from The Beatles to the 13th Floor Elevators. Yet, for all it’s artistic intentions, Hair
plays more like a greatest hits collection then a set of genre exercises. These guys know how to rock.
— Contact Jordan Francis.