By Jennifer Graciano
San Francisco’s favorite band is at it again; not with a single or a split effort, but with a full on full-length. This knocks their album quota up to two for 2011. With so many releases you have to wonder whether Thee Oh Sees might have lost a bet. Do they have a stockpile of tracks tucked away? Maybe they enjoy making music so much that they are, maybe literally, bursting with chords and lyrics. Whatever the reason may be, trust Thee Oh Sees to deliver worthwhile jams.
Riddled with long-winded psych cuts, Carrion Crawler/The Dream already stands out from the bands last album. Castlemania, released only earlier this year, was brimming with the catchy eccentric sounds Thee Oh Sees are so well known for; utterly short bursts of energy to appease any Oh Sees addict. The unruly sounds heard on Castlemania take a back seat here as songs like “Opposition” and “The Dream” play out like a sludgy stream of delicious psych slime to sink into while Dwyer’s particularly shrill vocals float lazily about.
The rest of the album stays true to the fuzzy sludge principle. Title track “Carrion Crawler” opens up with the sounds not unlike what I imagine a defunct jazz club to sound like before picking up the pace in true Oh Sees style. Fantastic basslines and drumming dominate the album, most noticeable on cuts like “Crushed Glass” and “Chem Farmer.”
What else is there to say about Thee Oh Sees; the band have had a set formula to release excellent music for so long. Albums, singles, compilations that carry that Oh Sees rock quirkiness enabling the listener to distinguish one of their songs so easily without releasing material of questionable quality. Carrion Crawler/The Dream is no exception, it’s far from sub-par and serves up a delicious sampling which breathes more like a live show than any of the bands previous releases, the way they should be heard. Another release where Thee Oh Sees show off that which they have done well for so long.