(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Monday, January 3, 2011

CD review - Thee Oh Sees, Warm Slime (2010)

There's music that comes from the head, but Thee Oh Sees make music that comes from somewhere between the gut, the groin, and the ringing in your inner ear. Guitars flail and bass pounds as Warm Slime channels old school garage punk noise rock. It's defiantly and relentlessly low fi with sounds from the Cramps, the Velvet Underground, and the Troggs.

The epic title track is the centerpiece for the album. Sprawling for more than thirteen minutes and multiple sections, Warm Slime starts out with a head banging drive. The heavily echoed vocals are unintelligible, but message comes from the churning guitar and bass. About two minutes in, it melts down into a chanted refrain, "I need her by my side." There's a solo of thrashy random guitar that evokes the Velvet Underground's European Son. Rebuilding from the bare bones of the chant is inevitable and the song turns into a droning groove. In an interview with frontman John Dwyer, he talked about Warm Slime in the context of the stretched out songs of the past. His take would fit in well with the likes of In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida and other extended jams.

Another notable track is circling psychedelic groove of Flash Bats. This inwardly twisting jam could have easily been dragged out for another long track. The fade in beginning gives the impression that this was an excerpt from a longer session. Guitars are heinously abused against a steady, meditative bass line.

Like most guitar players of a certain background, I've played in bands that had the same thrash and trash aesthetic. It's supremely cathartic to play and to hear. It's the sound of noise ringing off the concrete walls of the storage locker or an unfinished basement. The sound of uncounted cans of cheap beer opening. The sound of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment