Ty Segall, the man who’s creative arc once diffused nostalgia-inducing 60s slime during the 2010’s garage rock revival continues to shower us in discord. Though his music of late has been somewhat esoteric, Segall brings his dedicated followers along for the journey in each and every artistic move he makes. Harmonizer – his first release in two years – is purely an extension of his ongoing personal experiment with sound. Having spent the better half of the last two years perfecting a space to record at home in Topanga Canyon, CA, the newly built Harmonizer Studios naturally became the pantheon and namesake for the album. Co-produced with Cooper Crain and featuring members of The Freedom Band, this collection of 10 tracks highlights the artist’s skill for manipulating layer upon layer of fuzzy, clamorous noise.
Highlights this time around include “Pictures,” a track featuring Segall softly serenading through a psychedelic sequence, rolling in and out of a lustrous guitar solo. Every listen makes it more evident how the album is dotted with silky synths and playful precision. Resurrecting Sabbath at any opportunity, Segall’s thirst for dark and heavy is exemplified in “Erased,” a stand-out song fuelled by an industrial metal mood akin to a B-side from the recording room floor of Nine Inch Nails. Elsewhere, we’re treated to the splendor of Segall’s wife Denée, who lends her eccentric vocals to “Feel Good.”
Harmonizer features a mix of raw, throated vocals similar to that of Emotional Mugger (2016), yet is paired with the same panache he catapulted with First Taste (2019) – an album that was produced entirely without the crutch of his trademark guitar. As fans, we grow along with our favourite musicians, artistically shapeshifting among their more aberrant creations. This album is such an example. While Harmonizer is more evocative of a Fuzz record than any other solo work we’ve seen from Segall, it proves to be a rabidly enthusiastic, albeit, incredibly experimental piece of art.