Emotional Mugger

Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
Critic Score
Based on 31 reviews
2016 Ratings: #256 / 878
User Score
Based on 181 ratings
2016 Ratings: #285
Liked by 2 people
January 22, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Drag City / Label
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ty-segall.com / Website
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A.V. Club

Segall proudly high-steps in front of all the clatter, with his baton and drum-major headwear, leading the traveling carnival right off the edge of a cliff. It’s too fun.

Tiny Mix Tapes

To call Emotional Mugger a celebration of excess, as sweet as it is, would miss the mark ... No, this is a bender with an undercurrent of anxiety, a feeling that builds as the record closes in on the end.

Under The Radar
He's at his strangest, loud, absurd best. With his ninth studio album under the Ty Segall guise alone since 2008, he both parodies and masterclasses modern day garage rock.

In all, Emotional Mugger, for all its elegant distortions, abrasive melodies and overdriven guitar-porn spasms, somehow makes absolute perfect sense as a follow-up to such a universally acclaimed LP like Manipulator.


With the lack of any clean guitar pop and undisturbed glam rock ballads, Emotional Mugger upsets most of Segall’s standard rituals with imaginative chaos—a more than welcome exchange.


There's nothing mild about Emotional Mugger; it has an overwhelming sense of madness, but it's addictive nonetheless.

NOW Magazine

At first the psych freak-outs and weird voices Segall puts on make Emotional Mugger seem chaotic and, quite frankly, a mess. But after a few listens, hidden melodies reveal themselves and easy-listening bass lines guide you through the ruckus.

American Songwriter

What’s remarkable about Emotional Mugger is how fresh, even interesting it all sounds coming from a performer with an already weighty catalog, in a genre where loud guitars is nothing terribly new.


Emotional Mugger is a wild-eyed beast of a record; unafraid to stamp through the effects pedals with a delirious glee. It’s the sound of a ‘garage band’ plugging in, turning it up and rocking out like bands used to do, before getting prissy and career driven.

Drowned in Sound

Here's a record that shows an innovative appropriation of sound that makes for one of the most exhilarating and original albums he's ever done.

No Ripcord

Segall’s Emotional Mugger deviates from the pop-n-hook of 2014’s excellent Manipulator, buzzing with odd garage mechanics and flamboyant glitz.

Pretty Much Amazing

His first proper studio album over a year ... trims the fat away from Manipulator and trades that album’s T. Rex-inspired tunes for something dirtier and something more experimental. 

Consequence of Sound

Mugger is Segall at his most unhinged, an album for longtime fans who follow him for his frenetic soloing and general trippiness as much as the possibility of hearing another all-time great Segall composition like “Girlfriend” or “The Singer”.


Maybe its diciest moments can be chalked up to the album's inherent feeling of uneasiness, but Emotional Mugger still feels transitional—either the moment before he tucks in and gets way weirder or another stepping stone before he switches gears all over again.

The Line of Best Fit

Emotional Mugger is an enjoyably warped deconstruction of buzzy guitar rock. Its themes aren't breaking new ground ... but the album is a sonic endorphin rush in its purest form.


Emotional Mugger lands somewhere between all of these records, maintaining the cohesion and (relatively) streamlined arrangements of Manipulator but nodding to the scuzzy ’70s hard rock of the latter two and Segall’s trademark haywire, lo-fi garage.

Rolling Stone

The San Francisco garage-punk wunderkind flaunts all his frantic energy and wild-eyed humor on Emotional Mugger.


It's a welcome thing that he hasn't diluted his musical vision and is still willing to let his music howl when the spirit moves him, and Emotional Mugger is a stiff shot of raw, cocky joy that hits its target beautifully.

Despite at times being muddled, Segall is not afraid to stand up and confront the audience, evoking the most visceral of feelings and pushing the boundaries of comfort. Divisive, but all the more brilliant for it.
Entertainment Weekly

Emotional Mugger isn’t a bad record — Segall probably doesn’t have one of those in him — it’s among his weakest releases yet. Even this deep into a phenomenal career, the great are allowed to falter.

The Guardian
He’s got tunes when he wants them ... but it’s an uncomfortable, dissonant record, a bad trip rather than a mellow high.
This time Segall pulls the cellar door and barricades himself in, creating a thoroughly paranoid, claustrophobic realm.

Neither a departure nor a return to Segall’s usual fuzzy form, Emotional Mugger asks a lot from the listener, and it doesn’t always ask nicely.

Slant Magazine

Fixated on a few various musical and lyrical themes, but never getting close to a coherent focus, the album continues the quantity-over-quality approach favored throughout Segall's career.

Raw and completely distorted. Emotional Mugger is a romp but it does feel a tad repetitive without much to dive into here. It's fun just forgettable.

Best Track: Candy Sam
Worst Track: W.U.O.T.W.S.
Octave Fuzz: the Album
Worth a listen
a mad nice extension of the sound explored on slaughterhouse, emotional mugger sees segall returning to his most intriguing talents, namely his ability to turn massive, grimey waves of lo-fi punk and garage into sweet melodies. a great addition to his discography.

best tracks: the magazine / emotional mugger (leopard priestesses) / squealer two
ty ty segall
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Year End Lists

#26/The Needle Drop
#89/Crack Magazine

Track List

  1. Squealer
  2. Californian Hills
  3. Emotional Mugger/Leopard Priestess
  4. Breakfast Eggs
  5. Diversion
  6. Baby Big Man (I Want a Mommy)
  7. Mandy Cream
  8. Candy Sam
  9. Squealer Two
  10. W.U.O.T.W.S.
  11. The Magazine
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Added on: November 11, 2015