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THEE OH SEES

Thee Oh Sees

Dog Poison - Vinyl Reissue

    REISSUED!!! The beloved Dog Poison full-length record by THEE OH SEES, and boy, is this one a monster. More layered and textural than the previous Oh Sees releases while keeping all the typical JOHN DWYER punch, oomph and weirdness. Ten fantastic songs originally released by Captured Tracks in 2009. "If it were approached from a different angle, a song like album opener "The River Rushes (To Screw MD Over)" might not have sounded out of place on Dog Poison's predecessor. But by switching to an acoustic guitar and letting the flute player channel Ian Anderson, Thee Oh Sees give their sound a new wrinkle. Indeed, with Dwyer copping a few vocal moves from Mark E. Smith, "River" ends up sounding a little like the Fall covering the Kinks. There's another, purer, Kinks-like turn on Dog Poison, with the loping high-pitched tra-la-las of "The Sun Goes All Around" sounding like something left on the cutting room floor from Village Green Preservation Society. Elsewhere on the album, the group emulates the cavernous, smoky gait of Deerhunter ("Head of State"), shambles in a folkier fashion ("Fake Song"), spaces out a bit ("Dead Energy"), and mostly just lets it all hang out over the course of this LP's 24 minutes."—Pitchfork

    Thee Oh Sees

    Thee Hounds Of Foggy Notion - Reissue

      “Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion / Live Performances Sans Stages And Whatnots With Thee Oh Sees (2008), is a film we made just over a decade ago, and this record is the soundtrack. I loved making it, and I love all that were involved. I’m honestly blissed-out proud to hear over the years that it somehow is loved by so many others, too. “I first met John Dwyer on Flag Day. I was blown away by a trio of roving Coachwhips guerrilla street shows that climaxed at the the scenic vista parking lot high above San Francisco atop Mt. Sutro. Amongst the gathered uninitiated hordes of souvenir sweatshirt selling families, and puzzled elderly global tourist translators, and a white weirdo tuxedo wedding party, was the sonic corruption of the Coachwhips...I’m certain that this exact event was the idea seed for Thee Hounds Of Foggy Notion, and that it saved my life a little bit. “When JPD asked me to consider making a video for Thee Oh Sees with the sole stipulation that he didn’t want to do anything fake-y to playback, my head started swimming. What we mutually agreed upon was to essentially reprise Flag Day, and film Thee Oh Sees performing live, but not on stages. “I rented a 15-passenger van, a generator, and the minimal cinematic equipment my trusted cinematographer friend James Wall deemed we needed. Everything sound wise was JPD territory and went through an ancient mixing board that Johnny had housed within a Samsonite suitcase. We ran all the plate mics from the drums, and the li’l pedestal mics from the amps through this old mixer, and we all believed that all would be well and swell.” — Brian Lee Hughes

      From the same misty mountaintop tape spool as August’s A Weird Exits, Thee Oh Sees bring the companion album An Odd Entrances.

      Delving more towards the contemplative than the faceskinning aspects of its predecessor, this sister album is a cosmic exercise en plein aire with John Dwyer and company double-drum shuffling, lounging with cellos, following a flute around the groove, and spooling a few Grimm-dark lullabies along the way. Lurking in the grass are a snake or two, like the celestial facing instrumental buzz of “Unwrap The Fiend Pt. 1.”…But for the most part this is a relatively hushed affair, a morning rather than evening listen.

      The band plans on donating half their profits from the first pressing to Elizabeth House, a local charity in Pasadena that specifically helps homeless women with children get back on their feet.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: If this forms the Yang to 'A Weird Exit's Ying, there is between them a fully realised and startlingly broad palette of skills. Where 'Weird Exits' brought the fire, this brings the sweet, sweet burn cream. Rhythms are more pronounced, the distortion is turned down a little but still forms a brilliantly nuanced and fantastically executed whole. Superb.

      Emerging from the distant light is the new double-LP from John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees—the first studio recordings to capture the muscular rhythm section of twin drummers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon with ringer bassist Tim Hellman cracking spines. The groove and bludgeon one has come to expect from the band’s live shows is captured seamlessly here—they go from zero to headsplitter, and on the rare occasions they do let up on the gas a bit, you’re treated to some locked-in hypnotizers, too. The guitar sounds more colossal and ethereal at the same time, riding roughshod over the vacuum- sealed rhythm section, spiraling skywards, and diving into the emerald depths so quick your guts tingle. Synths, strings and smokesoaked things crawl behind the scenes to make an extra far-out party platter, served on 45 RPM plates for most excellent listening quality. With amazing visuals (including a side-D etching by airbrush-vanart maestro Robert Beatty) and packed in vape-proof goatskin, it’s a beast and, come August 12th, it can be yours should you so choose.

      Thee Oh Sees

      Live In San Francisco

      Perched in the belfry of The Chapel we caught thee mighty Oh Sees, alive and in their natural element, with our shutters aflutter and our
      tapes on a roll. After a short incubation period, the beast has reached full maturity and it is hideous. Over three nights they pummeled, and we’ve culled some great photographs, a wicked recording, and even a little live video action.

      Castle Face is happy to announce the first double LP in the Live in San Francisco series, presented on two discs, in a handsome double
      gatefold jacket, with live video shot by Brian Lee Hughes and his crew of merry gentlemen on an included DVD. Finally you depraved
      Oh Sees freaks have something to take home with you when you lose your shoes and your girlfriend at the show. Put it on at home and pretend to wait in line for the bathroom and it’s like you’re really there.
      The thrash, the throb, the mob is all present and pushed to the front. Dual drummers synced in each ear, Tim Hellman rounding out the
      bottom and Castle Face’s own John Dwyer up front on guitar, lasering young brains off and fomenting the crowd to a froth—it’s a great
      band, in a great room, with a great crowd and it’s cooked to perfection…

      Take a little bit of it with you this time.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd LP Info: Vinyl includes DVD with live footage of the
      show.

      Thee Oh Sees

      Mutilator Defeated At Last

      Here we have a new batch from Thee Oh Sees for your absorption - nine muscular tunes primed to pummel. Last year’s Drop was more schizophrenic, ranging from heavy to whimsical and back - Mutilator Defeated At Last has more in common with the monolithic hugeness of Floating Coffin - with only two slight reprieves in heaviness this is a record made to be played loudly and that demands bodily sacrifice inherently.

      Despite the plutonium heavy feel, Thee Oh Sees continue to be omnivorous - synths and acoustic guitars expertly wind their way throughout like veins of gold through granite - any and all that stands in its way will be devoured and assimilated. This is the sound of a band doing what they do best, and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

      Our lad John P. Dwyer has been lancing eardrums with Thee Oh Sees in an ever-escalating flurry of records for the past six years. Since the release of The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In announced a new loud era (and excepting a few momentary detours into home-baked territory - Dog Poison and Castlemania, for example), Dwyer and company have pummelled a bit harder each time out, cementing their reputation as a live force to be reckoned with and leaving legions sweaty and bruised in the process. Late last year, after years of relentlessly touring the world, the word got out… Dwyer’s moving to Los Angeles (fear not, still California!) and Thee Oh Sees are taking a much-needed hiatus with a shifting of gears ahead and a new album on the way. This is that album.

      Drop was recorded in a banana-ripening warehouse (no joke) with hair-farming studio warlock Chris Woodhouse playing drums; it’s also graced with the presence of talented gurus Mikal Cronin, Greer McGettrick and Casafis adding horns and vocals. The result pushes the familiar polarities of the group farther outward than ever before. Opener “Penetrating Eye” might be the heaviest Oh Sees song yet, “Transparent World” and “Put Some Reverb On My Brother” foam with seasick fuzz, and yet the ballads, like the harpsichorded “King’s Nose” and the lush and stately closer “The Lens,” extend their oeuvre into mellotronic, far-out pop with delicacy and grace.

      This schizophrenia heralds the man and the band into an unseen future in classic Dwyer fashion - restless energy harnessed into exquisitely crafted jams, with an emphasis on the pensive and the paranoid in turns.

      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).

      What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions Thee Oh Sees? Probably their riot-sparking live show, right? Visions of a guitar-chewing, melody-maiming John Dwyer careening across your cranium, rounded out by a wild-eyed wrecking crew that drives every last hook home like it’s a nail in the coffin of what you 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 to pin down since Dwyer launched the project in the late ’90s as a solo break from such sorely missed underground bands as Pink and Brown and Coachwhips. (While Dwyer still records songs on his own, Thee Oh Sees is now a five-piece featuring keyboardist / singer Brigid Dawson, guitarist Petey Dammit, drummer Mike Shoun and multi-instrumentalist / singer Lars Finberg.) That restlessness extends to everything from the towering, thirteen-minute title track of 2010’s Warm Slime LP to the mercurial moods of 2008’s The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In.

      Now, Thee Oh Sees chase the home-brewed symphonies of Castlemania with the scrappy, high-wire hooks of Carrion Crawler / The Dream. Originally envisioned as two EPs, it was cut live to tape in less than a week at Chris Woodhouse’s Sacramento studio in June, reflecting the battering-ram bent of the band’s live show better than any bootleg ever could. “As I’m sure most would agree,” explains Dwyer, “Castlemania was more of a vocal tirade. This one’s meant to pummel and throb.”

      That it does, whether one blasts the slow, speaker-bruising build of “The Dream,” the sunburnt organs and dovetailing guitars of “Crack in Your Eye” or the interstellar instrumental “Chem-Farmer,” a perfect example of what happens when one takes a well-oiled machine—a gang of rabid road warriors, really—and adds a second, groove-locked drum set to the mix. To listen is to realize that Dwyer’s music is as manic as the underground comic inclinations of his artwork; colorful and confusing in a way that’s more than welcome. It’s downright refreshing, like a slap in the face at 5:00 in the morning. Or, as Dwyer puts it, “You have to leave a mark somehow.”


      San Francisco’s incredibly prolific Thee Oh Sees are back with another full-length album of original tracks plus a smattering of covers. While the group’s previous releases on In The Red, "Help" and "Warm Slime", showcase their amped-up, reverb-drenched garage-psych pummel, on "Castlemania", John Dwyer and company take a more low-key approach. Dwyer himself describes "Castlemania" as 'summer-y and poppy'; on many of the tracks, electric guitars are jettisoned for acoustic, and the normally echo-laden vocals are a bit clearer. Happy pop melodies, sweet and sombre tunes, psychedelic moves galore, cover versions of The Creation and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and at least one garage stomper all rub elbows on Thee Oh Sees’ 'sunshine pop' album.

      Its release couldn’t be more perfectly suited to the time of the year when the sunny skies return and the flowers start blooming. Watch for Thee Oh Sees to return later this year with another full-length of pulverizing, heavy stomp. In the meantime, relax and enjoy "Castlemania".


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      2xLtd LP Info: The vinyl is a three-sided double LP housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve with a fourth side featuring an etching by William Keihn, who also did the fantastic cover art.

      The ridiculously prolific Bay Area band Thee Oh Sees are back with another full-length long-player. "Warm Slime" is guaranteed to please fans of their whacked-out garage / psych / punk jams. Recorded by Sacramento sultan of sound Chris Woodhouse, "Warm Slime" carries on in the same tradition as the group’s previous In The Red release, "Help", showcasing their more electrified and rocking side, in comparison to other recent home-recorded releases. The centrepiece is undoubtedly the mind-bending title track, which clocks in at nearly 14 minutes and takes up the entirety of the album’s first side. It’s a psychedelic epic of "Inna Gadda Da Vida" proportions! John Dwyer’s guitar playing is at its quadraspazzed best here, and the vocal interplay with Brigid Dawson gives it a B-52s-at-their-least-cheesy-crossed-with the-Troggs vibe. The results are stunning.

      'Thee Oh Sees incorporate the oft-referenced Nuggets stuff in a way that feels reverential. With grinding guitars and bah-bah-bah vocals, but with the punk and new-wave elements also at play, they don’t feel trite or plagiarized. This is like meat and potatoes prepared by a master chef -totally familiar but utterly delicious.'  - Pitchfork.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: Vinyl repress.


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