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Putrifieres II

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Thee Oh Sees

Putrifieres II

12" LP

Availability: In stock


Quick Overview

What s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Thee Oh Sees? Probably their riot-sparking live show, right? Visions of a guitar-chewing, speaker-smothering, tongue-wagging John Dwyer careening across your cranium, chased by a wild-eyed wrecking crew that drives every last hook home like it s a nail in the coffin of what one thought it meant to make 21st century rock n roll? Yeah, that sounds about right. But it misses a more important point how impossible Thee Oh Sees have been been to pin down since Dwyer launched it in the late 90s as a solo break from such sorely missed underground bands as Pink and Brown and Coachwhips. That restlessness extends to everything from the towering, thirteen-minute title track of 2010 s Warm Smile LP to the mercurial moods of 2008 s The Master s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In. And then there s the home-brewed symphonies of Castlemania and the high-wire hooks of Carrion Crawler / The Dream, which dropped a second drum set among sunburnt organs, dovetailing guitars and rail-jumping rhythms. If one prefers a slightly more subtle musical awakening, there s always Putrifiers II, the latest in a long line of Oh Sees albums that expands the group s sound well past your friendly neighborhood garage band. So while the space-odyssey nods of Wax Face actually sound like they re meant to melt one s ears straight off, the record s full of deviant detours, from the poison-tipped string parts and Eno-esque engineering of So Nice to the groove-locked Krautrock inclinations of Lupine Dominus. The most noticeable element may be Dwyer s melodies, however, as they reveal a softer side to his songwriting, one that makes perfect sense considering just how disparate his dust-clearing influences are. Scott Walker, The Velvet Underground, The Zombies and the experimental Japanese act Les Rallizes Denudes are but a small taste of what informed Thee Oh Sees this time around, as Dwyer returned to the multi-instrumental ways of Castlemania full-band sessions for another record are already underway and rounded out a fuller, drier sound with drummer / engineer Chris Woodhouse and special guests like Mikal Cronin (sax), Heidi Maureen Alexander (trumpet, vocals) and K Dylan Edrich (viola).


In 2011, genre-shattering rockers Thee Oh Sees put a fractured spin on pop with Castlemania, returning later in the year with the wild experimentation of Carrion Crawler/The Dream EP. A year later, Putrifiers II lands somewhere in between, combining those aesthetics while bounding forward with new ideas and influences. Produced by Chris Woodhouse, who's been at the band's side since 2008's The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, Putrifiers II is as warm as Thee Oh Sees have ever sounded -- a particularly stark contrast to the raw, live mood of Carrion Crawler/The Dream EP -- which reflects the sense of restraint (by their standards, anyway) and maturity that permeates the record even in its heaviest moments. On that heavier side, the title track and album centerpiece (for John Dwyer devotees, it's almost a sequel to the song "Putrifiers" from his mid-aughts distortion-drenched band Yikes) bounces back and forth between hippy-dippy vocals and corrosive guitar chugging, giving way to a synth/noise jam session outro, while the crunchy, motorik "Lupine Dominus" whizzes with Syd Barrett-esque freakiness and Suicide-style paranoia. But Putrifiers II really shines with the tracks that show John Dwyer's increasingly melodic ear and the many forms it takes, making the connection from Nuggets-y strut to Motown rhythm ("Flood's New Light") and laid-back fuzz-pop to AM gold ("Hang a Picture"), as well as conjuring halcyon Byrds-meets-Kinks vibes ("Goodnight Baby") and idyllic symphonies in miniature ("Wicked Park"). On the more experimental side, the droning raga-like "So Nice" gives the feel of Thee Oh Sees' spin on "Venus in Furs" and "Tomorrow Never Knows," and "Will We Be Scared?" has the eerie, nostalgic swoon of Scott Walker and Dirty Beaches. With so many contrasting ideas mingling on one album, Putrifiers II suffers in terms of overall cohesiveness, but longtime fans will feel rewarded in hearing the band simultaneously honing what it does best and pushing its boundaries. Incidentally, for this reason it's also a great introduction for newer listeners. After 15 years and over a dozen albums, Putrifiers II is part snapshot and part look into the crystal ball, showing Dwyer and company's ever-changing approach to songwriting and musicianship, and further cementing Thee Oh Sees' status as one of the most liberated, vital bands in indie rock.

Additional Information

Artist Thee Oh Sees
Track Listing 1 Wax Face - 4:00 2 Hang a Picture - 3:54 3 So Nice - 3:52 4 Cloud #1 - 1:45 5 Flood's New Light - 2:31 6 Putrifiers II - 6:10 7 Will We Be Scared? - 5:23 8 Lupine Dominus - 3:28 9 Goodnight Baby - 3:28 10 Wicked Park - 2:09

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