Given that San Francisco is the birthplace of psychedelia, one may come to expect that a considerable plurality of bands that come from the city still has traces of LSD running through their veins. The ones daring enough to start bands ultimately have a knack for spaced-out, flower jams in their blood. Thee Oh Sees channel that historic sound, along with some blues, garage rock and elements of punk rock, honing a very honest and well crafted interpretation of these archetypal genres. Yet the sound The Oh Sees broadcast is very much their own.
Thee Oh Sees’ latest effort, Warm Slime, which follows their last In The Red release, Help, shows the band embracing the same type of hard rock and pushing themselves to the edge musically. The album takes off like a rocket, beginning with the title track, which clocks in around 13-and-a-half minutes. The song is a high tempo, raw mess of epic proportions — in the vein of Isn’t Anything-era My Bloody Valentine or Lou Reed’s songs with the Velvet Underground.
The Fogerty-inspired “I Was Denied” is a rocking take on old blues riffage, while “Everything Went Black” touches on Stiff Little Fingers-esque punk rock. Thee Oh Sees continuously refresh familiarities from all aspects of rock and roll, flirting with The Cramps’ rugged glam rock sound (“Castiatic Tackle”) or creating their own version of “Heroin” (“Flash Bats”).
After The Oh Sees resurrect The Saints for their closing track, “MT Work,” one cannot help but feel satisfied. Thee Oh Sees have incorporated an abundance of the greatest rock and roll yet only to spew it out into a rough and rugged party album – I can’t help but have fun. Don’t let this one be a ‘ghost in the trees.’
Ganglians – Monster Head Room
13th Floor Elevators – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
The Sonics – Here Are the Sonics!!!