THEE OH SEES – Carrion Crawler/The Dream  (CD In the Red)


Originally intended as 2 EP’s, the garage rockers from Thee Oh Sees decided in all their wisdom to make this a full length release. All though the repetitive and meandering bass lines often give the impression of tracks being lengthy, the total playing time of this disk doesn’t really exceed the limits of a vinyl release. Whilst the music itself still builds on rock ‘n roll the good thing here is that it also seems to take a kind of new direction. Along with the extensive jamming also comes a much more psychedelic character and the tracks are indeed successfully playing tricks with the mind. Just listen to tracks like ‘The Dream’ and ‘Crack in your Eye’ with the mellotron layer (or something that at least sounds like it) blending with the twisting bass lines and you’ll know what is meant here.  

The band originates from San Fransisco and is fronted by John Dwyer who still, next to his other musical outings, has enough creative energy to start this vehicle. Besides John taking care of the vocals, additional vocals are taken care of by Brigid Dawson, and despite not singing on all tracks, her vocal outings really are a superb addition to this from time to time highly masculine music. What results is a highly effective cocktail of West Coast Psychedelica and Punk Rock aesthetics blended with the intensity & joy bands like the Cramps used to showcase.  

With the artwork displaying some kind of personalized/materialised very malignant tumor inside what appears to be some brain structures, probably this music works in a similar way. It settles in your head and unless one has some very powerful weapons against it, it is there to stay. PvdG