Saturday, March 30, 2019

Album Review: Ty Segall & Freedom Band - Deforming Lobes Live

Almost every artist now likes to release a document of each tour cycle, whether on disc or film. Paradoxically, there hasn't been a truly great live album in decades. Of course, the golden age of the live album was the seventies, back when these artefacts were usually double and came in packages dreams were made of: gatefold sleeves with wonderfully grainy pictures of Golden Gods strutting around the various stages of the world like the Budokan in Japan, the Rainbow in England or the Troubadour in the United States. 

YouTube has rendered those products effectively obsolete, yet the Rolling Stones or Iron Maiden keep subjecting their fans to endless new carbon copy versions of Satisfaction and The Trooper on live sets destined to grab every possible penny from the fans' wallets. None of these will go down in History like their illustrious elders: Made In Japan, Live And Dangerous, Live Bootleg, Live At Leeds, On Your Feet Or On Your Knees, Rock And Roll Animal, Alive II, Double Live Gonzo, No Sleep Til Hammersmith, YesSongs, Live At The Fillmore, Band Of Gypsys, Kick Out The Jams, It's Alive...
Deforming Lobes Live isn't going to join that prestigious list, but it's still one of the most exciting live albums in years thanks to it's unflinching commitment and devotion to the Church of the Electric Guitar. There are two here and the stereo separation lets you clearly appreciate every noise, every squeal, every shard of feedback from each offender: check out Cherry Red's guitar duel freak out and try not to destroy your furniture.

Their debt to the MC5 and Syl Barrett-era Pink Floyd is evident on every song and in every free sonic exploration. This ain't hippy dippy psychedelia: these hypnotic riffs and dissonant motifs are revolutionary tactics. You're not meant to turn on, tune in and drop out: you're supposed to go nuts and break shit. It's the soundtrack to a garage punk riot and you can either be part of the solution or part of the problem.  But there's a catch. A rite of passage. As a token of your loyalty, we're going to need you to sacrifice your eardrums.


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