It might seem unnecessarily flamboyant to start an album in 2019 with a nine-minute, freewheeling guitar solo, but Ty Segall’s latest fiery séance is nothing if not fully maximalist in its eagerness to explore the outer limits of what’s possible with a guitar-driven band. Whereas others might bemoan the notion that guitars are dead in 2019, the Freedom Band, which consists of Mikal Cronin, Charles Moothart, Emmett Kelly and Ben Boye, crank themselves up to 11 and let loose with a feverish flurry of fuzzed-out guitars and jazzed up acid freak outs.
Deforming Lobes is a mostly live album that revisits Ty Segall’s extensive back catalogue through the lens of the Freedom Band. Their re-imaginations of classic Segall tracks, such as “Finger,” “Breakfast Eggs” and “Warm Hands” are wild and free, jubilant explorations of fan favourites updated with Segall’s current all-star lineup. The Freedom Band seems plugged in directly to Segall’s brain stem, amplifying and reanimating the guitar wizard’s own creations in a way that seems honest and otherworldly. It’s classic Segall but with perhaps his most confident and spirited band to date: each track ricochets between wide-ranging solos from each member, sonic explorations of the heart of the songs that highlight not only the band’s virtuosity, but the freedom inherent in the source material.