Release Date: Nov 25, 2013
Record label: Revolver USA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi
No longer a cult band championed by in-the-know indie nerds, Thee Oh Sees have become trendsetters thanks to their ever-broadening sonic language and seemingly tireless work ethic. With seven full-lengths in the last five years alone, the San Francisco five-piece still seem incapable of writing the same song twice. The increased spotlight hasn't decreased their propensity to spaz out.
Hardcore Thee Oh Sees fans get this glint in their eyes, sometimes, that stirs a certain reflexive distrust in me. "What's the one I need?" I will ask, seeking to get a hold of a discography as pervasive as mist. "Oh, they're all good," comes the too-often, earnest reply, as my heart sinks. They're all good? That's not an answer; that's a "Keep Out" sign.
John Dwyer is always busy with his band Thee Oh Sees. They’ve been cranking out an increasingly excellent bunch of full-length records, culminating in this year’s fantastic album, Floating Coffin. But even as the band’s records find more focus and drive over time, Dwyer and company have stopped cranking out singles and split-discs and EPs and flexidiscs and whatever other kind of recordings you can think of.
Given their fondness for wandering into the echoey outer reaches of musical possibility on their albums, when Thee Oh Sees release a single, it has the interesting effect of forcing them to go for the hook. With three minutes or so per side to make their statement, the bandmembers follow a straighter line, and while the results are still best defined as psychedelic-infused garage murk, they do deliver something that more closely resembles a coherent pop tune. .
Thee Oh Sees are nothing if not prolific. Since 2006, they have released ten proper albums, two collections of singles and B-sides, and any number of EPs, split albums, and singles. The output arms race continues to see the garage rockers (and their San Francisco compatriots like Ty Segall and Sonny Smith) lapping the competition in an era where we don’t think twice about waiting two (or four!) years between albums from bands likes Arcade Fire or The National.