Emotional Mugger – Ty Segall

5/7 stars

Emotional Mugger (2016) Album Artwork

Favorite Track: Californian Hills

  1. Squealer
  2. California Hills
  3. Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess
  4. Breakfast Eggs
  5. Diversion
  6. Baby Big Man (I Want A Mommy)
  7. Mandy Cream
  8. Candy Sam
  9. Squealer Two
  10. W.U.O.T.W.S.
  11. The Magazine

“In the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, rock n roll was a religion. It meant so much more than just the songs, it meant a group of people who could get together and change something… I want my music to be like that.” – Ty Segall Drone Magazine

Ty Segall has often been credited with being one of the front runners of lo-fi Garage Rock. He is an artist who looks to unite jocks, weirdos, goths, punks, nerds, and everyone else in between. He continues to “rock thy socks off” record after record and always with a new wacky twist. The new twist for this record is “emotional mugging”. To get a better grasp on what emotional mugging is, here is Ty Segall with the answer: 

Now wasn’t that helpful?

Emotional Mugger, released via Drag City Records, is Segall’s ninth album. The record was produced by Segall along with F. Bermudez. There are also appearances from Mikal Cronin and King Tuff on some of the tracks.

Emotional Mugger is a super hot record with tons of fuzz and tons of fun. The album centers around a darker theme, which can be noticed immediately on the album cover which contains a porcelain doll with lifeless eyes with a background of tv fuzz. Also on the album cover is the quote “NO MAN IS GOOD THREE TIMES” which is a political reference to when FDR was running for his third term. What is Segall saying by having this on the cover of his new record? Maybe it’s a reference to this being another great album next to Lemons (2009) and Melted (2010).

Anthony Fantana from The Needle Drop says “I kind of feel like, in a way, that I was drugged before putting this album on in the way in the guitars squak and how they fuzz out.”

The record opens with the track “Squealer” which is very true to it’s name. “Squealer” squeals a high pitched guitar melody that remains consistent throughout the album. Following the title track is my favorite song on this album “California Hills”. I love this tune because it catches the listener’s attention with the constant time built into the structure of the song. You can also move your whole body to it. Fast-forward to the end of Side 1 with the song “Diversion.” In this track Segall plays a heavy guitar while repeating the lyrics “Diversion, diversion, I’m back I’m back I’m back.” These lyrics could be a reference to Segall coming back with new sound.

Where side 1 will satisfy long-term Segall fans, side 2 shows everyone a new droney electric side with “Baby Big Man.”

Halfway through the b-side is “Candy Sam”. This track is arguably the best on the album. It was the first single Segall released before releasing the whole record. “Candy Sam” has a very unique vocal track where Segall sings in a high pitched voice while also layering the track with a low groan as well. The lyrics clear up our questions about the plastic dolls scattered throughout the album art: “Pick me up, I am done, candy’s gone, no more fun high and dry, I am done, candy sam, Give us some”

Emotional Mugger ends on a pretty dark note with  “The Magazine.” Segall has a whiney vocals plus a heavy drone-y bass on the tune. The song is relatively short, and ends with a sort of fizzling out which sounds like a plane crashing to the ground. In my opinion, I don’t think this was the best track to end the album with. I can understand how artists will strategically place their songs throughout the album but I think what have really set this album apart is if “Candy Sam” was the final track. However, I still loved the album, I even went ahead and purchased the record and added it to my collection. Here is a quick pic:


To promote the album, Ty Segall is hitting the road and is coming to a city near you!

02-17 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom

02-19 Austin, TX – Mohawk Outside

02-20 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks

02-21 Memphis, TN – The Hi Tone Cafe

02-22 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge

02-23 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse

02-24 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel

02-25 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

02-26 Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero Theatre

02-27 New York, NY – Webster Hall

02-28 New York, NY – Webster Hall

03-01 Boston, MA – Royale

03-02-03 Montreal, Québec – Theatre Rialto

03-04 Toronto, Ontario – Danforth Music Hall

03-05 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre

03-07 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall

03-08 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall

03-09 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue and 7th Street Entry

03-10 Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room

03-11 Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre

03-12 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Loung

04-29-05-01 Austin, TX – Levitation (Austin Psych Festival) at Carson Creek