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Posted on April 30th, 2015 (9:00 am) by Nick Manai

Pick is a verb, and within the lexicon of music, specifically guitar music, it has a very immediate resonation. Most associate picking with acoustic guitars, banjos, and folk music. We might picture beards and organic kale unassumingly, but to think of complexly layered, spatially concise, vibrating interplays would be apposite. Live at Pickathon Vol. 2 is a live album made up of performances from two of the very least “pick-minded” guitar players in music today, and although it is no wonder why Pickathon chose them to grace their stage, it is curious that this was the night and the title they chose for such a release.

Ty Segall has been releasing more music than just about anybody over the past few years and although one of his trademarks is his roving musical indulgences and natural garage habitat, most of us can pick him out by those instantly catchy, but loud and aggressive, hooks he hits you over the head with. Segall is a part of a side project named Fuzz, and we can’t think of a better adjective to describe the sound of his guitar.

King Tuff has been making waves recently with his own brand of garage noise and flashback '70s hooks. King Tuff wields a stronger inclination for anthems, which can hurt him as much as it can help him. His best songs dance until dawn while his more lackluster efforts seem to spin hopelessly toward psychedelic revival. He doesn’t have that effortlessly cool bravado that a dirty Segall track has, but he can often tease out more sincerity and wit.

The setlist from Segall is interesting. This set was recorded back in 2013 so don’t expect anything from his most recent solo album, the underappreciated Manipulator, but five tracks from his mostly solo acoustic meditation Sleeper is surprising. The set finishes with the crowd pleaser, and all around fireball, “Girlfriend” from 2010’s Melted. “The Man Man” and “Queen Lullabye” are given raucous arrangements and sound even more disturbing due to Segall’s almost frightening sneer.

King Tuff's Black Moon Spell also had not yet been released, which makes three from his breakthrough King Tuff an easy guess. There is the quick step of “Stranger” along with “Anthem” and “Keep on Movin’” spliced together as a medley. There is the light-hearted pop of “Dancin on You” from Was Dead, and a track he recorded with Gap Dream, “She’s on Fire."

None of the performances from either artist really stand out, they are all solid. Segall and King Tuff both command the stage with sloppy guitar riffs that seem to weigh a literal ton, but are wiped across the stage with grace and skill. Their vocals crack just where you want them to and fall out into devilish yelps when the words wouldn’t fit anyway. There isn’t much picking to be had, but check out the solos on “The Man Man” and “Queen Lullabye,” or the scuffed out riff on “Anthem.” It’s their garage and we’re just living in it.

Track List:

  1. Sleeper
  2. The Keepers
  3. Crazy
  4. The Man Man
  5. Queen Lullabye
  6. Girlfriend
  7. Anthem / Keep On Movin'
  8. Dancing on You
  9. Stranger
  10. She's on Fire
Ty Segall / King Tuff - Live at Pickathon Vol. 2 Review
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

71 / 100
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