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Thee Oh Sees : Putrifiers II

There are a lot of very good, old-fashioned psychedelic garage rock bands coming out of San Francisco at the minute, a few of whom – Wooden Shjips, Fresh & Onlys, Ty Segall, Sic Alps – have been featured here recently, but whilst Mr. Segall can stake a valid claim to the position of “poster boy” there’s no disputing who the scene’s real godfather is. John Dwyer, former leader of Pink & Brown and Coachwhips and member of – amongst others – Revenge, the Hospitals and Sword & Sandals, formed Thee Oh Sees in 1997 and has released at least one album under that name every year since 2004; Putrifiers II – out September 10 on In The Red Records – is, by most people’s reckoning (although it really is hard keeping track), LP number 14, and stands proudly alongside the best works in his sizeable catalogue. It’s also the most varied, and marks the first time Dwyer has expanded the OCS sound palette beyond the basic garage band set-up of guitars, keyboard and drums: on the swinging “Hang A Picture” horns combine with Brigid Dawson’s organ drones to form a thick wall of blissful noise, whilst a sawing violin cuts a “Venus In Furs”-like shadow across the mesmerising “So Nice”. Elsewhere, the acid-fried “Will We Be Scared” uses meandering flutes to make a woozy song even woozier, and closer “Wicked Park” – probably the prettiest two minutes of Dwyer’s career – is given an ornate chamber pop feel thanks to what sounds like a string quartet. But despite these welcome diversions, it’s when the group get down to doing what they do best – rocking out – that they are truly unstoppable, although frankly the notion that anyone would want to apply the brakes once this juggernaut starts rolling is ridiculous. “Wax Face” throbs hypnotically like Black Sabbath covering Suicide, “Flood’s New Light” flips between fuzzed-up “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” verses and a psychotic Monkees “ba-ba-ba” chorus, and “Lupine Dominus” further hones the driving speed-Krautrock style the group played with on last year’s double drum-kit set Carrion Crawler/ The Dream, proving once again that when it comes to locking into a groove and freaking the fuck out there is nobody out there doing it better. You can hear the whole album now over at Stereogum, or if you’re in a hurry just check out the aforementioned “Flood’s New Light” below:


About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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