Ty Segall has spent the previous 15 years constructing an unlimited discography of solo releases, aspect tasks, and style experiments branching into acquainted but distinct phenotypes of the California auteur’s strummy rock’n’roll. The C.I.A., nevertheless, is an outlier inside the Segall-verse, increasing his scope relatively than filling gaps. Fashioned in late 2017 by Ty, spouse Denée Segall, and the Cairo Gang frontman Emmett Kelly, the trio emerged with a novel amalgam of threadbare electronics, tinny bass, and Denée’s snarling spoken phrase. Whereas their 2018 debut sometimes drowned in its personal marinade of squelching reverb and unbridled suggestions, Denée’s charisma and the band’s playful rhythms dredged a strong file out of its still-forming ethos.
Returning 5 years later with Surgical procedure Channel, the C.I.A. ditch the cavernous echo and nil in on the whirring, abrasive textures of a well-oiled torture machine. It’s an improve in each sense, hitting tougher and delving deeper into the band’s flickering modular synth work whereas cleverly detouring from their established post-punk blitz. Although the vast majority of Segall’s releases are identifiable by their twangy barre chords and distorted leads, no member of the C.I.A. wields a six-string guitar. As a substitute, Ty and Emmett each primarily play bass, splicing fragmentary riffs and gurgling bits of atonal synthesizer atop bare-bones drum machine loops.
There’s little in the way in which of melody on Surgical procedure Channel. As a substitute, the band varieties a curtain of fuzz that writhes, swells, and undulates just like the stomach of a serpent. Denée’s writing works in the identical vein, speaking by way of fast rhythmic pulses. She layers disjointed phrases in a brusque style that’s opaque but impressionistic, as if she’s masking a canvas in black paint and drawing consideration to every brushstroke. After a short salvo of hole snares on “Higher,” she conjures a sequence of photographs like an overstimulated mind scrambling to course of its environment. “A flush inside/A crimson upon the pores and skin,” she mutters earlier than providing herself empty comfort every time she reaches the refrain: “It will get higher, it will get higher, it will get higher.” The band’s wriggling low finish, which resembles the sound of a groan tube, provides a way of urgency.
Denée’s vary as each a author and performer has expanded over the previous decade, evolving from a garage-rock yawp to a extra sinister, assured presence. On “Inhale Exhale,” she barks like a drill sergeant, whereas on “The Wait,” she bounces between a whispered verse and growled refrain that sounds downright inhuman towards a short-circuiting bassline. Her ambitions in flip push Ty and Emmett out of their very own consolation zones, particularly on Surgical procedure Channel’s second half, the place the band will get artistic with its drum programming and palette.