One of my favorite bands right now, not even in the garage rock scene exclusively, but in general, is Thee Oh Sees. If there's anyone that stands out in the garage rock scene more than anyone, it's these guys, especially thanks to lead singer John Dwyer's distinct vocal delivery.
Earlier this year, they released Castlemania, a departure from their familiar territory, as a chance to explore lead singer John Dwyer's intricate melody-making capabilities and acoustic side, and I really liked it. They knew that they needed a change at least once. But on Carrion Crawler/The Dream, we find these guys returning to their raw rock 'n roll spirit that can even date back to 2008's The Master's Bedroom. However, a lot of the songs here are much longer than we're used to with these guys, even reaching the 7-minute mark on The Dream. Now I'm all for long songs, but not when they stay the same throughout. That's what happened with the title track of their 2010 release Warm Slime, which started out awesome, then quickly lost my interest after 3 minutes. Basically, the long songs on Carrion Crawler are fantastic for the first couple minutes, then become tiresome, especially when we generally have one sound coming from these guys.
Also, it seems as though Thee Oh Sees are running out of ideas for hard-hitting tunes, so they just bang it away for 40 minutes, and after a while, the constantly banging drums and shredding, although spot on, starts to sound stale and monotonous. Each song sounds like a generalization of what The Master's Bedroom or Help sounded like as a whole. I can't say there are too many stand out tracks here because of that, but I do love the first two tracks a lot. Robber Barons is basically The Coconut, just duller, and almost nothing changes on Chem-Farmer. At least The Dream varies it up a bit, but still, why 7 minutes? The song could have been 3 minutes, and I probably would have loved it.
Carrion Crawler/The Dream, although fun, is just their previous efforts compiled together and made blunt and uninteresting. However I'm glad that they're back to their old selves, and I'm positive that their live shows are still amazing as ever.
1. Carrion Crawler
2. Contraption/Soul Desert
3. Robber Barons
6. The Dream
7. Wrong Idea
8. Crushed Glass
9. Crack in Your Eye
10. Heavy Doctor