Ty Segall started off as one of the leading lights of San Francisco's 2000s garage-rock scene, but as he releases his seventh solo album, the label hardly still applies. Late-Sixties styles trump Segall's usual brand of offbeat hard rock here, and if there's anything garage about Manipulator, it's the unbridled energy running through some of its best tracks. While the songs with more muscle hit hardest, like the headbanging "Feel," Segall also nails cinematic pop on the highlight "The Singer," whose swelling strings are a far cry from his early low-fi efforts. Does Segall's songwriting break new ground? Not really – but Manipulator is rarely boring even so, and always exceedingly likable.
From The Archives Issue 1217: September 11, 2014