Album spotlight: Ty Segall’s Emotional Mugger

Ty Emotional Mugger

Last year, Ty Segall released an album made up entirely of songs covering the great ’70s glam rocker T. Rex. On Emotional Mugger, the latest release from the prolific Segall, the ’70s are channeled again with a mix of glam, garage, heavy metal and a touch of funk. Squealer, the opening track, sets the table. Other highlights: The title track, Mandy Cream, Candy Sam, Breakfast Eggs.

Messy, unsettling and weird, Emotional Mugger took me a few listens to really appreciate. Once I was on board, the album moved to my heavy-rotation list where I think it will stay for some time.

Emotional Mugger strays a bit from the excellent 2014 psych-garage album Manipulator, while combining some of the trademark Segall twists. Fans of his stoner metal side project, Fuzz, should like it as well.

Segall plays two shows at Thalia Hall in March.

Tortoise drops new album, plays Thalia Hall

Tortoise lp

For the past 25 years, Tortoise has been melding rock, jazz, electronic and a mess of other musical styles to make a unique and interesting sound. The latest album from the Chicago band, The Catastrophist, is no exception.

There’s a cool blend of music on this latest release. And while Tortoise is well known as an instrumental band, there are a pair of songs on this album with choice vocals. Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley sings on Yonder Blue, while Todd Rittmann (U.S. Maple, Dead Rider) helps the band cover the oddball ’70s song Rock On.

Check out the band Saturday at Thalia Hall for either an early or late show or Sunday at Mad Planet in Milwaukee.

Savages unleash another great album

Savages live

Savages AdoreSophomore albums can be big letdowns or placid, dull retreads. On it’s second album, Adore Life, Savages shatters any low expectations with a full, exciting 10 songs. This album draws on some of the great bands of the punk and post-punk years of the late ’70s and early 1980s. While Siouxsie and the Banshees is the most-often comparison, there is a respectable nod to Gang of Four and Wire on this latest release.

Savages’ debut, Silence Yourself, three years ago was killer and full of explosive songs. The new album opens with The Answer, a bombastic anthemic rocker. It’s a punch in the face to let you know that Adore Life is no sophomore slump follow-up.

Adore, the second single from the album, slows down the pace but it is no less intense.

There are really no weak spots on the album, which challenges the traditional love song throughout. No happy sunsets or walks on the beach. The song T.I.W.Y.G., for instance, tells you “this is what you get when you mess with love” in a very pointed statement that says take notice!

Savages play Metro April 7.

Here are some other interesting and notable releases January 25.

Ty SegallEmotional Mugger

Washer Here Comes Washer

Tortoise The Catastrophist

The Besnard LakesA Coliseum Complex Museum