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In The Red

Thee Oh Sees

Putrifiers II

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions thee oh sees? probably their riot-sparking live show, right? visions of a guitar-chewing, speaker-smothering, tongue-wagging john dwyer careening across your cranium, chased by a wild-eyed wrecking crew that drives every last hook home like it’s a nail in the coffin of what one thought it meant to make 21st century rock ’n’ roll? yeah, that sounds about right.
But it misses a more important point—how impossible thee oh sees have been been to pin down since dwyer launched it in the late ’90s as a solo break from such sorely missed underground bands as pink and brown and coachwhips. that restlessness extends to everything from the towering, thirteen-minute title track of 2010’s warm smile lp to the mercurial moods of 2008’s the master’s bedroom is worth spending a night in. and then there’s the home-brewed symphonies of castlemania and the high-wire hooks of carrion crawler / the dream, which dropped a second drum set among sunburnt organs, dovetailing guitars and rail-jumping rhythms. if one prefers a slightly more subtle musical awakening, there’s always putrifiers ii, the latest in a long line of oh sees albums that expands the group’s sound well past your friendly neighborhood garage band. so while the space-odyssey nods of “wax face” actually sound like they’re meant to melt one’s ears straight off, the record’s full of deviant detours, from the poison-tipped string parts and eno-esque engineering of “so nice” to the groove-locked krautrock inclinations of “lupine dominus.” the most noticeable element may be dwyer’s melodies, however, as they reveal a softer side to his songwriting, one that makes perfect sense considering just how disparate his dust-clearing influences are. scott walker, the velvet underground, the zombies and the experimental japanese act les rallizes denudes are but a small taste of what informed thee oh sees this time around, as dwyer returned to the multi-instrumental ways of castlemania— full-band sessions for another record are already underway—and rounded out a fuller, drier sound with drummer / engineer chris woodhouse and special guests like mikal cronin (sax), heidi maureen alexander (trumpet, vocals) and k dylan edrich (viola).

  • 1. Wax Face
    2. Hang A Picture
    3. So Nice
    4. Cloud #1
    5. Flood's New Light
    6. Putrifiers II
    7. Will We Be Scared?
    8. Lupine Dominus
    9. Goodnight Baby
    10. Wicked Park

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