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Reviewed this week: Laetitia Sadier, Fancy Trash, and Ty Segall

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Thursday, December 06, 2012

Laetitia Sadier
Silencio
(Drag City)

Best known as the singer for ’90s indie band Stereolab, Sadier sticks to her guns on her second solo album. Where her 2010 solo debut The Trip focused on more personal issues, most notably her sister’s suicide, which took place shortly before the recording of the album, here the French-born singer turns her focus outward to topics such as politics and the universe as a whole. Opening track “The Rule of the Game” name-checks fascism, the ruling class and disarmament, while “There is a Price to Pay for Freedom (and it isn’t Security)” employs distant sleigh bells in a verse discussing the societal roles individuals are forced to take on. If these sound like heady topics, they are. Yet Sadier still finds time to match her weighty lyrics to an upbeat strum on “Auscultation to the Nation” and “Moi Sans Zach” even features Latin rhythms. —Michael Cimaomo

*

Fancy Trash
As Is
(independent)

Moodiness and angst have long been key ingredients in all the best rock music. In recent years, though, especially around the Valley, it sometimes seems musicians have forgotten that there are a whole host of flavors and spices other than mope and moan that can go into making a tune rock your socks off. While there’s plenty of heartbreak in Fancy Trash’s new album, the three-piece folk-rock ensemble have managed to capture the exhilarating rawness of their live performances and packaged it into a lean, nine-song, 28-minute gourmet feast. The rapid-fire, reverb-laden approach is closer to something an early Elvis Costello or Joe Jackson might have produced than the sad-sack warblings of someone like Eddie Vedder. From the album’s opening track, “Too Many Dings” all the way to the end, the album satisfies and leaves you wanting more. —Mark Roessler

*

Ty Segall
Twins
(Drag City)

It’s been the year of Ty Segall. He’s released three distinct and remarkably high quality albums in 2012. His latest, Twins, combines the savage punk energy of Slaughterhouse and the trippy psychedelic textures of his White Fence collaboration Hair. Written and performed almost entirely by Segall, it plays like a victory lap, a confident showcase of his sprawling talents. The wellspring of his music is 1960s garage rock, but Segall continues to refine his songwriting and expand his sonic vocabulary. “The Hill” features female harmonies and glam rock riffs that pull apart like taffy. The album moves easily between the frenetic and catchy “You’re the Doctor,” the lumbering and fuzz-drenched “Ghost,” and the blissed out acoustic strummer “Gold on the Shore.” Hot streaks like this don’t usually last long. Twins is another urgent bulletin that the time to catch up on Ty Segall is now. —Jeff Jackson

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