Album Review: Thee Oh Sees-Floating Coffin

Ok, so Thee Oh See have a new album and it is their best one. That is a basically short form for what I’m about to say in this article. I fucking love this album. I fucking love this band. Everything on the album is flawless. It’s fucking brilliant garage-pysch and it’s done to perfection. I want this album to be edible, so that I can literally live off of it. I love it more than Genghis Khan loved to procreate. I love it more than rednecks love alien abduction stories. I love it more than Cheech and Chong love weed. Yep, I think ‘Floating Coffin’ is the bee’s balls, in that it’s a tiny, powerful package, that turns an age old adage on it’s head, and will probably fucking hurt if you come into contact with it.

If you’re unacquainted with Thee Oh Sees, go and check out any of their albums. I guarantee you’ll be stunned. For the listener that prefers not to be assaulted by sound, maybe go put on the latest Mumford and Sons or Angus and Julia Stone. Thee Oh Sees are reserved for music fans that feel the need to be challenged and warped. Regardless of how dickish that sounds, it’s 100% true. This band is the Sonic Youth of the 21st Century, or Fugazi if you’re a punk fan. Go put on the garage yelping of ‘Help’ or hurtling ‘Castlemania’, or if you’re looking for something more experimental, ‘Warm Slime’. Thee Oh Sees can tick all the boxes, and will tickle every crevice of your body.

The same goes for their latest record, ‘Floating Coffin’, only bigger and better. That’s not to say they got to big for their britches ( I feel like speaking like a character from Robin Hood, yolo) but the band have done a fantastic job of maintaining their hard, fast and snotty vibe, while injecting a bit of mature sheen to it. Take ‘Minotaur‘ for example. It opens with a string section. A FUCKING STRING SECTION!? BLASPHEMY! Not to worry, that shit is still locked firmly in the weird, gooey realm of an Oh Sees tune. Brigid Dawson sighs gloomily and the song shrugs in and out of a surfy vibe. It’s like no Thee Oh Sees song you’ve heard before and it’s great. One could almost, almost, almost describe it as pop-ish.

There’s still plenty of classic garage punk though. ‘I Come From The Mountain’ is high octane and frenzied, with a Stooge-like persona adopted by lead man John Dwyer, and everything is pushed into overdrive. And it’s the first chance we get to hear the infamous Dwyer ‘Whelp!’. The close out organ is just classic Thee Oh Sees, and it’s the perfect track to open the perfect record. ‘Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster’ is a horrifying slider, swerving in and out of hooliganistic fuzz. It’s a madman’s centre of delivered chaos, crashing cymbals thebed for a truly crushing guitar riff. ‘No Spell’ is a wall of fuzz and con caved buzzing, that fades into a Sonic Youth-y bass driven melody, which then morphs into something the Flaming Lips might’ve done, Yoshimi-era. Then it’s back to speedy, over the top drum breaks and thrash n pash guitar. The tracks ‘Strawberries 1 +2’, ‘Maze Fancier’, and ‘Sweets Helicopter’ show that Thee Oh Sees haven’t forgotten their wild pysch  side either. ‘Sweets Helicopter’ pounds forward like a bat out of hell, only tamed by the sweet n sour vocals and twirling guitar. It’s a vibrant, resonant track.

Anyway, ‘Floating Coffin’ is Thee Oh Sees sharpest work to date. It’s fucking brilliant, jumpy, electrode to the balls stuff, enthralling guitar work laid down over succulent bass lines. Every track is interesting and pervasive and a delight to listen to. It’s a deep, mesmerising pool of garage music that will suck you in like a kids lollipop and burp you out like the fucked up monster it is.


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