Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin
Laguna Beach, CA
Rust never sleeps and neither does Ty Segall. The Bay Area garage sensation has been known for his prolific nature, constantly releasing several albums a year under his own name, along with endless collaborative side projects and one-offs. Reverse Shark Attack originally materialized in 2009, a short eight-song team-up between Segall and one of his longtime friends and co-musicians, Mikal Cronin. Though the album's brief running time is well under half an hour, it's a strangely arranged and distributed track listing. Six incredibly trashy garage rockers speed by in a matter of minutes, all drenched in fuzz with a malfunctioning analog delay unit going berserk on processed vocals. The sound is more that of a four-track in a practice space with all the knobs turned to ten than any subtleties of a recording studio. The songs are spontaneous, fiery, and fun. While nothing reaches the heights of inspiration of Segall's more widely known solo albums, unhinged tracks like "High School" and "Doctor Doctor" are enjoyable blasts of blown-out garage punk merriment. The album takes a strange turn near the end with a surprisingly precise cover of the early Pink Floyd track "Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk," followed by the ten-minute title track, a distorted collage of kitschy psyche, low-lit acoustic folk moments, and surfy noise. Reverse Shark Attack is a loose, carefree collection of insane sounds. You get the sense that it was a lot of fun to make and there probably weren't a lot of second takes or arguments in the studio about getting a perfect guitar tone. Equal parts tossed-off riffs and bizarre experimentation, the album sounds like two friends having a blast and letting us look in on the process.