Musicfest NW, Day 2: Thee Oh Sees

photo by Kyle Johnson

Jon Dwyer makes a ferocious, feral, garage-shattering racket with Brigid Dawson, Petey Dammit, and Mike Shoun, but then we wouldn’t expect much less from the noisemaker in the Coach Whips. I’m sure he has plenty of Cramps albums and has no idea why his new band Thee Oh Sees would remind me of them in particular (not a swamp to be sang about), but it has all to do with making tiny, ugly, drunken riffs fill in broad canvases of feedback roar, and singing (ahem) what could be a 50s science fiction novel chopped up over it. Then again, the Cramps (God bless them) never opened an LP with a thirteen minute two-chord trepanning -- like Thee Oh Sees did on their last and highly recommended Warm Slime. Live, it’s like being in a belly of a psychedelically turned-on whale beaming in its dying thoughts into your own seaweed-covered cranium -- a sweaty, horrid affair tapping in deeply to backyard BBQ acid freak outs where you found out your nephew was the Antichrist and the burgers seemed “alive.” They’ve been putting out albums for years, so if you like this kind of madness, dig in (the first few nuggets are instrumental though, and I recommend the later ones for the frantic singing).

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