PREVIEW: Ty Segall is the King of L.A. Garage Rock

The king of the Los Angeles garage rock scene is taking a public seat on his throne this summer. On Friday, Aug. 2, Ty Segall and Freedom Band continue their ten-week residency at the Teragram Ballroom in Downtown, playing through Ty’s eleventh studio album, First Taste, alongside a variety of older albums in full. This week, the band celebrates the digital release of First Taste by performing the record entirely, as well as his third solo LP, Melted, which turned nine years old earlier this summer.


Throughout August and September, Friday nights in Los Angeles are reserved for Ty and co. as they revel in their latest tunes, which Ty recorded collectively with the current lineup of the Freedom players, ripping through some of the most notable works in his impressively prolific discography. Playing through Goodbye Bread (2011), Emotional Mugger (2016) and Manipulator (2014) in full, the Freedom band will be revisiting some of the most celebrated works in Ty’s prolific discography.


Enlisting the same lineup that plays in Ty’s live album from earlier this year, Deforming Lobes, and with the addition of Shannon Lay (of local garage punk band FEELS), the Freedom Band sounds larger than ever. With First Taste, Segall explores some of the most complex production work of his career, and hearing it live on stage not only does the record justice but elevates it. The fact that the current line-up is made up of close friends and long-time collaborators manifests in an incredibly tight and sharp performance style, the band nailing even the most ambitious moments on First Taste. They bring flair and complexity to the stripped-down, raw, DIY energy of Melted, turning the volume up and adding an impressive amount of sonic weight to the familiar, rowdy tunes, with two basses and an incomparably dynamic pairing of lead guitars.

The Freedom Band features familiar faces around town and long-time collaborators of Segall, most having been members of different versions of Ty’s backing bands for his solo performances. Mikal Cronin, probably the most familiar face of the group, plays a variety of synthesizers and brass instruments, laying down a dark and powerful foundation for First Taste and is part of the bass assault on Melted alongside Shannon Lay, who trades between bass guitar, electric guitar and acoustic guitar throughout the entire show. Trusted collaborator Emmett Kelly (of the C.I.A. and the Muggers) plays bass on First Taste and transitions into lead guitar for Melted, Charles Moothart (of Fuzz and Gøggs) on the first of two drum kits on stage and Ben Doye brings some of the most difficult moments and layers to recreate the studio recordings, bringing these tracks to life.


Lastly, Ty is our guitar hero. Unique to First Taste, we find Segall bouncing between his signature guitar sound and providing supplemental percussion— performing from behind a small drum kit front and center for at least half of the new record. Dynamic and aggressive from the first number, Ty has properly prepared him and his crew to melt Angelino faces for the rest of the summer, with an excellent set of new, dynamic and impressively translated songs, as well as celebrating some of his most highly regarded past releases in the town that has propelled him to the throne he will rightfully occupy for the next nine weeks.


For a list of all Ty Segall tour dates, click here.

Adrian Vega Albela Osorio is a 23-year-old multimedia artist from Mexico based in Los Angeles. His work focuses on documenting the contemporary underground psychedelic music scene in Los Angeles.