REVIEW/THESIS: Thee Oh Sees Are the Garage Rock Equivalent of Cocaine

cf-075coverA little background on why I wanted to write this post: I graduated from grad school a month ago (which is not a big deal, but if you want to send me some belated “congratulations” checks, I’m not NOT gonna cash them). As if the ceremony wasn’t languorous enough, they dedicated an extra 45 minutes to those obtaining their doctorate and went into a 5 minute spiel of what each person’s thesis was. If you want to laugh/scoff for a good 45 minutes, then just see what they’re giving doctorates for these days. One woman’s thesis was on why fried fish is worse for you than grilled fish. I shit you not, someone wrote a thesis on THAT obvious shit.

Cut back to this week. After posting just three posts after a long hiatus, I start getting flooded with more press releases than before and one of them contains something I’m actually interested in: the new live album from Thee Oh Sees, Live in San Fransisco. Having been a casual fan of the band for a good while, I decide to throw it on.

I’m only a few seconds into the album but John Dwyer and co. waste no time in throwing it into fifth speed without grinding a gear. And then they stay there for pretty much the rest of the album. This is great for the first five songs but it made me realize something: Thee Oh Sees are the audible version of cocaine.

Bear with me here. They always start off strong. Their groove is tight, their sound is fucking loud, and their riffs cut hard between each song. When you first hear them or see them live, it’s a spectacle. You’re bewildered at how fast they play and how many tunes they have. The first time, your mind is truly blown that a band/feeling like this really exists.

Kind of like cocaine….

You decide after one listen that you want to hear it all. You get all of their albums and listen to them all the time. Suddenly, it becomes the soundtrack to your day to day life and because of that, everything seems faster and more exciting. If you go to one of their shows, your mind is further blown and pretty soon, you’re shaking your head so much that it might cause a nosebleed.

Like cocaine….

Then two weeks pass and you realize the fatigue is setting in. You start to realize that a lot of their songs don’t stray from a high speed tempo and because of this, they start to blend together and sound exactly the same. You feel like you’ve flushed a shit ton of money down the drain because you now have all 40 of their albums when really, all you needed was 3 of them to begin with. Now you’re exhausted from being in a constant state of audible mania, you feel broke, and all of your friends who are still going on about the band annoy the ever-living shit out of you. So you drop them and the band and wait until you’re no longer sick of either before you indulge in them again.

JUST like cocaine.

Hence my theory, Thee Oh Sees are the audible version of cocaine.

I’ll accept my doctorate now.

As for the live album, it’s pretty good, but after 3 listens, I think I’m good until the new LP or when they come to Nashville.

Listen: Web (live) – Thee Oh Sees

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  1. […] and became a frontman for this last tour cycle. The Growlers made a disco record. And Thee Oh Sees, who I’ve compared to cocaine in the past, put out a new album that sounds like they’re coming OFF of cocaine. Everyone’s already pissed […]



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