Thee Oh Sees

Mutilator Defeated at Last

Written by: BV on 11/07/2015 20:44:22

John Dwyer and his band, Thee Oh Sees, have grown in recent years to become the very epitome of San Francisco-based garage rock. Constantly on the verge of releasing something new, it came as no surprise that Thee Oh Sees would follow up on 2014’s “Drop” –the band’s eight album (give or take) with an album here in 2015, titled “Mutilator Defeated at Last”. “Mutilator…” is the first album created by the band’s new lineup and, as such, the sound is expectedly a smidge different from what you’d expect if you wanted something like “Floating Coffin”. It’s a noticeable change, but it’s also for the better (for the most part).

Opening with a surreal intro-romp in the form of “Web”, the album paces itself well – easing into the full-on onslaught that will no doubt appear later on. It’s a strangely trippy beginning to an album with a steadily building groove that suddenly makes way for Dwyer’s surprisingly laid back vocals. The production is noticeably more polished from the get-go of the album and it is largely befitting of a band supposedly maturing. There are traces of psychedelic warbling and mildly ambient passages to be found in between the fast-paced, highly danceable outbursts of energy that Thee oh Sees have been so praised for creating in recent years and it is a development that can arguably take the band to the next level.

If all you really want is some classic Thee Oh Sees, then look no further than “Lupine Ossuary” which thrashes on like there’s no tomorrow in a mess of scuzzy guitars and monotonous, blistering grooves that leave you yearning for a moshpit the instant the track comes on. It’s a tendency that still dominates the album (as it should), but for those with a more demanding set of expectations for Thee Oh Sees development as an outfit, there are also stunningly beautiful, albeit still break-neck paced, tracks like “Holy Smoke” which combine the tenderness of an acoustic guitar with the persistent beat of punchy bass guitar and the drive of a drum-kit.

However, when all is said and done, most of these tracks still follow the same basic formula that has made Thee Oh Sees so acclaimed to begin with. That one type of song that blends the fast and heavy inspirations from The Cramps with the discipline and repetition of old school krautrock – creating the perfect balance between drugged out, alienating mayhem and the strangely soothing forward motion created by a fucked up guitar that insists on violating your ears with uncanny rhythmic precision. “Mutilator Defeated at Last” is Thee Oh Sees as we all know them – just slightly more mature in their production and sense of aesthetics.

Download: Withered Hand, Lupine Ossuary, Rogue Planet
For The Fans Of: Ty Segall, White Fence, Coachwhips

Release date 18.05.2015
Castle Face Records

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