Ty Segall writes and records a lot. His Web site lists 24 different releases since 2008, not counting this latest salvo, his third full-length album of the year.
Although it’s good fun to wander through those singles, EPs and albums — his thickly distorted space-glam-garage-spazz-rock slowly destroying your bearings — “Twins” distills the young San Franciscan’s inspiration and vision so (relatively) neatly that it may be the only Segall record you need.
Drawing energy from a mighty trifecta of influences — David Bowie, the Stooges and Marc Bolan — Segall grafts his sizeable gift for psychedelic melody onto a growling rock engine and roars down the highway like the clock just struck 1972.
The very best songs are brief rip-snorters (“You’re the Doctor”) or hip-shakers (“Who Are You”), but mastery of mid-tempo is what “Twins” is about. There is little of Segall’s hyperactive garage-rock past in world-weary charmers such as “Gold on the Shore,” “There Is No Tomorrow,” the groggy California-ode “The Ghost” and “The Hill” (where the acid-drenched spirit of John Lennon is clearly at work).
And though he’ll probably have two new albums recorded before you finish reading this, Segall seems like he’s paused: poised on a career peak, surveying his splayed-and-spastic past and a future where his influences and interests roll up into something bigger and wider.
Which way will he go?
“Twins” isn’t so much an answer as an offer to climb in the back seat and find out. Just know that not knowing where you’ll end up is pretty much the whole reason for hitching the ride.
“Who Are You, ” “The Hill,”
“You’re the Doctor”