Music

"Class War" - Ty Segall [YouTube Audio Single]

Prolific garage rocker releases updated take on The Dils' 1977 punk classic
Jared Gibbons

by Jared Gibbons

Published October 16, 2018

Ahead of his upcoming covers album Fudge Sandwich, garage-rock heavyweight Ty Segall has shared his take on California punk band The Dils' track "Class War."

In an effort to make it his own, Segall's version of the 1977 cult classic is notably slower and more reserved than the original.  While Ty has already proven himself very capable of making quite the racket by now, he takes more careful creative liberty on this reimagining by turning the pure aggression and speed of the original into a slower, folkier rock song based around the original lyrics.  Distortion is still present, though more influenced by classic blues-rock and psychedelia than anything else — a far cry from the gritty, lo-fi hardcore sound The Dils utilized to get their point across.

While his style has proven to be incredibly versatile, Segall is arguably most associated with his louder, more chaotic garage-punk output.  However, his song crafting abilities truly shine on his cleaner tracks like this — with more room to breathe, his musical talent is on full display.  In this case, his transposition of the original track to make it his own while keeping its message fully intact is what stands out.

With "Class War," Ty isn't solidifying his strong original songwriting capabilities (that happened ages ago) but rather simply restating the fact by taking on a new challenge.  Usually only mega-stars among the likes of Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, or Nirvana can achieve such a feat.  While only time can tell if he will reach their legendary status, he has already proven himself to be a leader of his generation. 

The Dils' Chip Kinman himself acknowledged Segall's strengths in a statement to The FADER, stating: "Ty Segall answers questions that Tony [Kinman, brother and The Dils bassist] and I never even thought to ask with his version of ‘Class War.’ I LOVE it!"

Indeed it does switch the track's message up to reflect its ever-applicable message in newer times.  While the fury of the original could certainly be equally as fitting for the current Trump era, Segall uses an updated sound to take a cooler (though no less urgent) approach to addressing, you guessed it, class disparity that is still relevant decades later.  The Dils' lyrics in tandem with his updated instrumentation reflect a chilled out, psychedelic "millennial-hippie" image and attitude than '77 punk's straight-up anarchy and destruction — appropriate for a time where we're constantly being overloaded with new headlines about President Cheeto.

Staying as prolific as ever, Segall will release Fudge Sandwich as his second solo LP of 2018 and fourth overall counting full-lengths with White Fence and Gøggs.  The album will be released via In the Red Records on October 26th. 

For more information and upcoming tour dates, check out Ty Segall's Zumic artist page.

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