Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Thee Oh Sees - Help [2009]

It’s good to be from San Francisco. At least, that’s true if you’re Thee Oh Sees, who continue to be one of the best underground bands in the bay area, home of the musically diverse scene including Deerhoof and Why? Venerated as the head of garage rock in not only San Francisco but also in the nation, Thee Oh Sees derive definitive influence from 60's Phantom Surfers garage rock, but break loose from the simple power chord definition of many basement jams. Perhaps it births from frontman John Dwyer’s noise rock backgrounds with the Coachwhips and Pink and Brown, the female-male vocal head-on collisions, or the band’s thick spring-reverberated bombastic tunes. Thee Oh Sees’ latest album, The Master's Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In , on Tomlab Records (home of David Shrigley’s Worried Noodles and previous releases by aforementioned Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu, Tussle, and more), sees the band’s most accomplished release yet. Now a quartet, the alternating coed vocals give the band vibes of the B-52s vocal interplay when the latter found themselves at their least cheesy and most epic (think Mesopotamia). The album weaves Dwyer's distorted quivering yelp—signature of predecessors Suicide and The Wipers—Brigid Dawson's elegant and haunting harmonies, punk-paced guitars, and guttural drums (at times in pairs).

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