released May 11th, 2010

from the album - I Was Denied

from all music

Thee Oh Sees are the latest incarnation of songwriter, singer, and guitarist John Dwyer's ever-evolving pop-folk psychedelic group. Dwyer, who hails from Providence, RI, has been active on the San Francisco indie scene since the late '90s, working with several bands, including the Coachwhips, Pink & Brown, Yikes, Up Its Alive, and Swords & Sandals, among others, and he formed OCS (which is an acronym for Orinoka Crash Suite, Orange County Sound, or whatever Dwyer decided it was on any given day) initially as a vehicle for the experimental instrumentals he was producing in his home studio. In time OCS morphed into an actual band, and worked under the usual flurry of names, most notably as the Oh Sees or the Ohsees, and eventually as Thee Oh Sees, featuring Dwyer on guitar and vocals, Brigid Dawson on vocals and tambourine, Petey Dammit (sometimes listed as Petey Dammit!) on bass, and Mike Shoun on drums. Sounding a bit like the Mamas & the Papas run through a seriously bent garage blender, the band signed with the German Tomlab label and released Sucks Blood in 2007 and The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In in 2008. Thee Oh Sees second full-length effort Help appeared in 2009 and featured a bit of a garage rock vibe mixed with the band's psych-pop sound. The album Warm Slime followed in 2010.

album review

For a band that sound as if they subsist on a steady diet of cheap hallucinogens, Thee Oh Sees are an admirably ambitious bunch; Warm Slime is the fourth album in three years from John Dwyer and his roving band of psychedelic marauders, and if the liner notes are to be believed, they committed this album to tape in a single day in 2009. The semi-finished product lacks a certain amount in the way of precision and polish, but Thee Oh Sees were clearly together enough to make this stuff stick once the tape began to roll. The title track clocks in at 13-and-a-half minutes, and though Dwyer could have given himself plenty of room for fractured guitar bashing, instead he allows the song's insistent pulse to take over, and the throbbing groove carries it along with hypnotic effect even when the melody drifts off into the ether. The other six songs clock in at more traditional pop-single length, though with Dwyer and Petey Dammit's layers of thick, ringing guitar tone, Michael Wayne Shoun's furious drumming, and Brigid Dawson's low-tech keyboards this band can pack as much freak power into three minutes as other acts can summon in 30. And while "Warm Slime" gives Thee Oh Sees a chance to stretch their legs and explore their aural cosmos, the other selections reveal that they can write simple but indelibly catchy tunes when the mood strikes them, and the notion must have occurred to someone the day they cut this disc. Like the title suggests, Warm Slime is gooey but curiously inviting stuff, and sinking into it might not be the safest way to pass the time, but it's a genuinely pleasurable experience.

Track Listing

1 Warm Slime 13:30
2 I Was Denied 3:38
3 Everything Went Black 3:19
4 Castiatic Tackle 2:26
5 Flash Bats 3:17
6 Mega-feast 2:10
7 MT Work 2:28