Another Trippy, Murky Album from Thee Oh Sees
If you’re into garage rock or psychedelia, you might be interested to know that Thee Oh Sees have yet another album out. Putrifiers II is everything you’d expect from the band: warped Brian Jonestown Massacre rambles, pitchblende Black Angels atmospherics and a couple of tracks that sound like Stereolab gazing up from the bottom of a well. Everything here follows a wobbly path straight back to Syd Barrett.
Unexpected flamenco tinges kick off the first track, Wax Face, quickly leading into one of the band’s signature dense, echoey, pounding vamps. Keyboardist Brigid Dawson sings with an eerie, deadpan brightness on that one and also the swaying, hyypnotic Hang a Picture, decked out in late Beatles paisley harmonies. They move through the lushly sustained neo-Velvets dirge So Nice and then a nebulous violin/keyboard drone into the funky soul strut Flood’s New Light and its sarcastic ba-ba-ba chorus.
With its wall of guitars and inscrutably creepy lyrics, the six-minute title track shifts tempos back and forth unexpectedly, followed by the briskly shuffling, squalling Lupine Dominus, the most obvious early Pink Floyd homage here. The album’s best songs are We Will Be Scared, an off-center Lynchian noir pop tune lowlit by sepulcural flute, and Goodnight Baby, which with its allusively catchy jangle could be a Church outtake from the late 80s. The last cut is Wicked Park, recalling the Pretty Things’ first adventures in acid chamber rock. Turn on, tune in, you know the rest.