Basement Dwelling// Ty Segall: Emotional Mugger



           Hello and welcome to Basement Dwelling, a column written by me Daniel R. Fiorio where I review new records that should be on your musical radar. What sets Basement Dwelling apart from other music review columns is that these are all albums that are currently residing in my record collection. No promo copy was given, no stream was listened to. Instead, a record was purchased (even if I didn’t like it). Don’t think of me as a critic but as a music obsessive looking to open a dialogue about some of the best tunes that are currently being released. Let’s head down to the basement and listen to….





On the cover of Ty Segall’s 11th record underneath the cover image of a grainy black and white photo of a  disturbing looking doll reads a caption that says: “No man is good three times”. Maybe this is true, but in the case of Mr. Segall with his new record Emotional Mugger he proves that you can be great three times; as a matter of fact he’s been amazing all eleven times he’s put out a record. Segall has been making waves in the garage rock/ psychedelic scene for about eight years now. All starting with Lemons (2008) and the fantastic lo-fi masterpiece that put him on many musical maps with 2009’s Melted. Through the course of these eight years and eleven LP’s Segall has managed to change up his style and remain consistantly himself with each new addition to his catalog. From buzzy acoustic led ballads on Goodbye Bread to the pure garage rock freak out of Slaughterhouse. No two records of his sound the same and that is certainly the case for Emotional Mugger.


What is the sound of Emotional Mugger well the only way I can describe it is this: Psychedelic garage rock by way of funk with a little bit of krautrock thrown in. Oh and it’s loud, like really fucking loud. Sound intriguing? It certainly should.


Emotional Mugger is an acidic odyssey of a record, and really the most strung out and warped Segall has ever sounded; an effect that makes the experience of listening to this album even more of a treat. It’s Ty Segall playing to his strengths and trying on some new hats at the same time. From the woozy reverb soaked funk on opener “Squealer” (a type of song Jack White wishes he could write when shooting for this same style) and album highlight “Baby Big Man” to the thunderous guitar stomp of his cover of “Diversion” by Eddie Grant there’s so much to love here on Emotional Mugger which results in this thing having a very high replay value, almost more so than some of Ty Segall’s recent out put which is saying quite a lot.

Another factor that stands out very poignantly on Emotional Mugger is the lyrical content, which paints a very disturbing and biting picture. A lot of the lyrical content having to do with being brought to your knees by lust and also being confused by carnal feelings at the same time. A second lyrical tie that makes even larger impression is the reoccuring theme of being a child as well as a fear of bearing children all the while the album’s lyrics are presented in a man-child sort of whimsical way; especially on “Baby Big Man”. It’ really genius and ties the album together with a pretty haunting theme as well as give the LP’s artwork a greater level of depth.

In the long run of Ty Segall’s large discography Emotional Mugger stands out as a crown jewel. Not as Bombastic and awesome as his last record Manipulator, not as well written as Melted but I’ll be dammed to say it doesn’t stand shoulder to shoulder with those records. Ty Segall has provided one of the years best rock records only one month into the year. I look forward to seeing if anyone  could even come close to trying to top it. Let’s be real the closest thing we’ll get will probably just be Ty Segall releasing another record by the years end.


Daniel R. Fiorio

Writer, blogger, record collector/music fanatic, comic book junkie, jerkstore/all around nice dude from the south suburbs of Chicago

One Response to Basement Dwelling// Ty Segall: Emotional Mugger
  1. sonicolone Reply

    Right on, GREAT record!

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