Published Sep 21, 2016Chris Shaw and Ty Segall are taking over rock. The duo already worked together this year on the brutally awesome GØGGS debut, and they reunite with Segall recording on Ex-Cult's Negative Growth. Much like GØGGS, Negative Growth is a heavy record, and it rips through you like a chainsaw.
The album opens with "Mister Investigator," a heavily distorted jam with Devo vibes throughout, as well as a layer of almost digital distortion on top of Shaw's vocals and guitars. This effect adds a weird, robotic effect to the whole record, further intensifying Shaw's already powerful voice. At times, you're barraged with a wall of digital fuzz, like at the end of "Attention Ritual," the first single from the album. Negative Growth takes a lot of cues from Emotional Mugger, Segall's most recent solo work, though the focus is on more electric-sounding tones.
Ex-Cult don't give you a lot of time to rest on Negative Growth, with each song getting seemingly faster and more frantic. "Panic in Pig Park" hypnotizes listeners into a false sense of security as its hazy feedback loops grow into a blistering track, only to once again fade back into digital nothingness. It's a recurring sonic theme on Negative Growth; you're either being chased by a ferocious machine, or surrounded by an ominous, digital spectre. (In The Red)