By now you’ve heard of FUZZ, maybe you’ve even been fortunate enough to see them live. It’s Ty Segall (drums), of course, and Charlie Moothart (guitar), and Roland Cosio (bass).
The new-ish band has released two singles: Sleigh Ride and This Time I Got A Reason. On October 1, In The Red will put out FUZZ.
Dudes are touring the US hard right after the thing is released…most importantly to people around here AT GREAT SCOTT ON MONDAY OCTOBER 14:
10/2 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
10/3 – Marfa, TX – Padre’s
10/4 – Austin, TX – Red 7 Outside
10/5 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia
10/6 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone
10/7 – Nashville, TN – The End
10/8 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
10/10 – Raleigh, NC – Kings Barcade
10/11 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie
10/12 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge 10/14 – Allston, MA – Great Scott
10/15 – Montreal, Quebec – Il Motore
10/16 – Toronto, Ontario – Parts and Labour
10/17 – Detroit, MI – Lager House
10/18 – Chicago, IL – Logan Square Auditorium
10/19 – Northfield, MN – The Cave (Carleton College)
10/20 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
10/21 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
10/22 – Denver, CO – Hi Dive
10/23 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
10/24 – Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
10-25 – Los Angeles, CA – TBD
Band: Thee Oh Sees
Release: September 18, 2012
Label: In The Red
Comments: Thirteen albums deep, Thee Oh Sees made me think: just what will their next album sound like? If there were any indications before we got to preview some of the songs, it was that this was not a full band album. It was primarily written by John Dwyer in the role of multi-instrumental captain with help from long-time engineer Chris Woodhouse (drums) and Mikal Cronin (sax) just to name two. Dwyer’s done this before; actually, just last year with Castlemania. I love Castlemania’s wildly psychedelic moments and distinctive tape production. With the longest song clocking in at 3 minutes and 20 seconds, that record stands in contrast to the full band’s lengthy inclinations on Carrion Crawler/The Dream. With Putrifiers II, it sounds like Dwyer is interested in trying some new things, but with a keen remembrance of past successes. On the opener, “Wax Face,” I think of Carrion Crawler/The Dream, with its buzzing bass-line, fast pace, and array of effects for Dwyer’s guitar playing. The one thing that stands out on this track and stays that way for the rest of the album is Dwyer’s vocals. Dwyer doesn’t seem to be straining himself too much, just letting melodies stand as most distinct and the vocals as a creepy, yet squeaky clean and well-mixed after-thought. “Hang A Picture” is more Castlemania than Carrion, thanks to that acoustic guitar that Dwyer likes to bring out on record sometimes. It’s also easy to get lost in the sea of instrumentation. You might miss some horns if you aren’t paying attention. The fuzz sounds like a synthesizer, maybe it is, maybe it is. “So Nice” is a stand-out track for me. “Remember a day when fat kids got high? A light twisted sky enlightening me.” With a Velvet Underground styling (eastern influence and all — is that a viola?), this song marches along, sounding much briefer than its near 4 minutes. Ya wouldn’t know this on record though with “Cloud #1” serving as a continuation/instrumental. “Flood’s New Light” – which has just made the online media rounds, receiving very high praise – seems to channel the supreme energies that resulted in Help, the 2009 release that had some “ba-ba-ba-ba-ba” hooks to its own credit! You might even stop and think, ‘wait is that King Khan and the Shrines?’ at the beginning. I did. By “Putrifiers II,” Dwyer’s talent becomes abundantly clear. He makes some strange music (with some strange titles and some strange album art), but can so easily craft an identifiable pop gem, which I’d say this title track is. The flute and saxophone parts toward the close of the track are superb additions and slightly surprising – I wasn’t sure if Dwyer would break out into a full-out jam or some experimentally savvy finish or something of that nature. “Will We Be Scared” has me thinking Atlas Sound in more ways than one: 1) vocals (namely!) and 2) that old timer chord progression. Still, though, “Will” is distinctively Oh Sees, credit some extra psychedelic moments and choice picking. If I could see the band perform any of these Putrifiers II live, I’d bet “Lupine Dominus” would be one of them. It’s as ‘complete’ as they come on this record. It surprises me when it ends. “Goodbye Baby” is an odd-duck, culled from a long line of brief ’60s pop songs. “Wicked Park” is much the same way, but is just about a perfect closer. That acoustic guitar makes a comeback and for me I imagine Dwyer just strumming along on someone’s abandoned back porch. Just fun loving stuff that might serve as a nightcap to bizarre entertainment. With Putrifiers II, I feel like there will be a new breed of listeners that are just starting to get into Thee Oh Sees, perhaps because they caught them live after going to a show with a friend or saw the name on some high capacity music site. I sure hope they take this album for what it is — a few left and right turns within a familiar framework of past work. Great, awesome, cool, whatever, I feel it’s necessary to end this review with the mindset of how it started. What will #15 sound like? Not that it matters because I sense this will be getting many spins throughout the fall.
Top Three Tracks: (1) Putrifiers II
(2) Will We Be Scared
(3) Flood’s New Light
Imagine a music video in which Ty and his band set on fire an old TV that is streaming the music video for NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye”. Except the flames are the result of pure rock and roll electricity not the direct human hand. That wouldn’t have to be the whole video, just the parts when Ty screams “BYE BYE….BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”
There is a handy way of previewing selected upcoming albums. Midheaven allows for brief previews of tracks. In other words, you can get a rough (one minute) idea of every song before buying the record. In The Red is one of the many labels that have this connection. So check out Mark Sultan’s new Whatever I Want and then navigate around to find other albums.
Check out this awesome TermBo interview with the founder of my favorite record label, Larry Hardy! Larry talks about a variety of interesting subjects like the record industry, Jay Reatard (including an unreleased cassette), and countless past and upcoming In The Red releases.
1. “When Tomorrow Comes” – B
2. “Everyone Knows” – A-
3. “I’d Rather Be Alone” – B
4. “Throwing It All Away” – C+ 5. “Down the Tube” – B+ 6. “Showboat” – C- 7. “Miss Apparent” – C+ 8. “June Child” – C- 9. “Woodland Drive” – A- 10. “Lazy Days” – B 11. “Approximately Nowhere” – B 12. “Waiting Too Long” – C+
Comments: Young Jeffrey Novak had a ball on Cheap Time, the self-titled debut release of…Cheap Time! He and his boys created a pretty solid record of garage pop slingers that I thoroughly enjoyed. At his songwriting peak, he is just as awesome as former label-mates Black Lips and Jay Reatard. It’s unfortunately that really none of that great songwriting can be found on this record. Fantastic Explanations is a relaxed vacation on a island where everything is not all about speed. This approach isn’t as winning as I had hoped, but there is a decent moment or two to be listened to on here. Take the lazy “Everyone Knows,” which is simply a disgusted Jeffrey rambling over a hooky garage/grunge riff. The Ramones-esque “Woodland Drive” is a nice listen as well. Besides those songs there aren’t a whole lot of goodies.
Band: Thee Oh Sees Release: 5/2010 Label: In The Red
1. “Warm Slime” – B- 2. “I Was Denied” – A- 3. “Everything Went Black” – B+ 4. “Castiatic Tackle” – A
5. “Flash Bats” – B- 6. “Mega-feast” – B+
7. “MT Work” – B
Comments: Prolific in both quantity and quality, Thee Oh Sees have been kicking out jams for years at the rate of two or three albums a year. Maybe more. Damn, the phrasing in that first sentence is a little redundant, but it sounds good. Speaking of redundant, how about a 13 minute opener? That’s more than twice the length of Mark Sultan’s $ premier number “Icicles.” Damn, I hope Pitchfork doesn’t give Stephen Deusner the call-to-the-mound, so to speak, to review this album. That hater will just hate. So, anyway, if I am going to pitch in my two cents, I might as well do that at this time. It’s only appropriate. Around the 5:00 mark things slow down from consistent beats to an A Capella (but not really) repetition of some sentence that is not comprehensible to me. A speed up, of course, follows and is actually kind of awesome. The drums remind me of when I try recording myself playing drums on the computer. It’s just a sequence of loud bass drum bangs that sort of take center stage and make everything else… off-center-stage. That makes no sense. But I continue. Let’s be real here. In the age of the information superhighway and not of the vinyl long-player, this opener is hella skippable. Listen up, though. I could see if I was reading a book or something and popped this on the record player. Yeah, that’d be fun. But fucking eh! “I Was Denied” is a loud noise club bang her with a very simple progression and an irresistibly in your face chorus. “Everything Went Black” has another classic Oh Sees drum scheme. These drum schemes work to some degree, but don’t get me into some kind of frenzy. “Castiatic Tackle” is the shit! Hot shit! That’s the way I like it, dudes. To borrow a phrase from the great Cole Alexander (and thousands of others…thanks Google search), this shit is “psychedelic as fuck!” “Flash Bats” doesn’t keep pace with the one before it, but is very good. “Mega-feast” has a cool hook and all. What a fun closer “MT Work” is.