Ty Segall is back and better than ever. On his newest release, Manipulator, the prolific West Coast garage-rocker has cleaned up his sound and slapped on some silver lipstick to give his style of gritty psych-rock a shiny glam-rock finish.
Though this release doesn't have the lo-fi dirt of his earlier LPs, each track pulses with punk-rock energy that would be at home in a dive bar, as well as a mosh-pit laden theater. Clocking in at 57 minutes, Manipulator is Ty's longest release to date.
With a wide-spanning spectrum of genres and influences, this newest album is a summation of every single album the young rock star has released. Tracks range from psych-folk rock, a la 2013's Sleeper, or even noise-rock jams, akin to 2012's Slaughterhouse. Without a doubt, Manipulator is Ty Segall's most accessible to date, but like any great rock and roller, the album is a solid set of tracks written by a man who truly loves rock 'n' roll music.
Many bands in the experimental-rock genre are the groups that demand to be taken seriously. Thankfully, the experimental-rock outfit Half Japanese is back after a 13-year break to bring their goofy style of indie rock to the masses. Overjoyed is everything you need to make a great Half Japanese record — out of tune guitars, ferocious punk energy, and of course, Jad Fair's signature sing-talk howl.
Though the band has been releasing unconventional and primitive punk music since 1980, there is no sign of stopping the weirdness on this newest release. Even considering the album production has cleaned up since the '80s, the group is still as raunchy and primal as ever.
Since the early-00s, The New Pornographers have become one of the bigger names in bombastic and anthemic indie pop. But with successful side-projects from Neko Case and Dan Bejar (of Destroyer), the group of Canadians has become an indie supergroup in recent years. After four years, following up 2010's Together, the group is back with its sixth studio release, Brill Bruisers. Shedding away every tinge of darkness, songwriter A.C. Newman sounds happier and more celebratory than ever. Though the side projects of this bad may over shadow The New Pornographers at times, the group embraces each other's efforts, which can be seen on the bombastic remake of "Spidyr" — originally by Dan Bejar's group, Swan Lake. Even though each member is a strong musician on their own, they really flourish as one cohesive group.
Other additions to rotation:
Robyn Hitchcock, The Man Upstairs
Bill Baird, Diamond Eyepatch
Big Freedia, Just Be Free
James Calvet is the music director for Radio 1190.