Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thee Oh Sees - Help

Thee Oh Sees finally made it to In the Red Records, which means they've officially solidified their transition to a four-piece garage rock band.

So here lies Help, the second effort by the John Dwyer, Petey Dammit, Brigid Dawson and Mike Shoun combination, and it's nearly as playful, more consistently rock 'n' roll, and – from what can be gathered – sounds to be more of a collaborative effort than the Dwyer and Co. releases of OCS/Oh Sees past. Not that either situation is a poor idea, of course. Dwyer's still zipping about his guitar, eating microphones (rather literally), but Dawson and Shoun are a touch more audible here, and the group on the whole feels more like a real band rather than players in a single man's project.

Help is the latest in a chain of records that gets gradually better with every release, and is thus far the most accessible – accessible being a loose term, of course. None of that excessive feedback, no little experiments to fill space. Instead, there's the hyperactive “I Can't Get No” (if you squint you can see a little Mick Jagger in there), walls of guitar paired with great, dissonant chord combinations on “Soda St. #1,” circular rhythm and heavy doo-wop drumming on “Destroyed Fortress Reappears.” And there's the playful “Ruby Go Home,” to which it's easy to envision Dawson smacking her tambourine and Shoun grimacing in pain from pouring so much might into his drums.

Let it be said that Help contains zero filler, and is, frankly, a near-perfect rock 'n' roll record, as well as the best Dwyer's put forth, with any combination of musicians, since the Coachwhips' Bangers Vs. Fuckers.



Thee Oh Sees - Can You See
Thee Oh Sees - Rainbow
"Buy the album adorned with a San Franciscan bat," it says.