With Ty Segall there are a few inevitable Cobain throwbacks, so let’s get that out of the way. His Fender Jaguar, for instance. His mussed chin-length blonde locks. His stage poise that’s more like a hunched-over kid doing a difficult math problem than a dude performing for a group of people. And while most of his three-piece’s original tunes are scuzzy head-bobbing garage numbers, a few grungier, drone-drenched songs crept through, revealing hints about his true influences.
Ty and his band are an unassuming group. He’s backed by two women who look like your friend’s cooler little sister. Emily, the drummer, has the severe aquiline profile of silent film star, and an over all vamp-y composure that lends itself to playing the half-sneering Poison Ivy role to Ty’s Lux Interior.
Of course, Ty isn’t really like Lux, ingesting microphones and whatnot. Despite rocking out for (close to) a living, Ty’s disposition is downright sunny. He entertained crowd requests for covers, including a truncated version of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” that seemed to irk his bandmates a bit. He joked around like a chill California bro, and this matched the crowd’s almost teenage fervor, which while crowded around the stage, somehow evoked an uncanny house party vibe, even though we were clearly attending a venue.
Most of the stronger songs were accessible garage jams, with chords so meaty and fat they almost make you feel unclean, but they played a new song that required Emily to beat one of her floor toms with a tambourine instead of a stick — a much slower-paced, atonal number that actually showcased Ty’s vocals more than anything else in the set, and crested with a straight-off-of-“Blue Album” super-melodic power-pop solo.
Then after volunteering a crowd-pleasing encore, it was like all of our suspicions were finally confirmed. A dude in the audience kept screaming for Weezer covers, and Ty half-heartedly picked out “Say It Ain’t So” in the wrong key. From there, apropos of nothing, he launched into “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with his band speciously responding. Of course, thankfully, the whole tour of his middle school CD collection dissolved before it could totally destroy his charmingly cavalier garage-punk cred.