San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees released what is considered their seven full length album, Floating Coffin on April 16th, 2013. Thee Oh Sees have a very prolific past stemming from front man John Dwyer, some reviews stating Floating Coffin is the bands twelfth studio output when including the rare and early releases in the bands history. Since about 2008 to the present Thee Oh Sees have been bringing their prolific brand of Punk, Psychedelic and Garage sounds to us releasing at least one album a year since then. Prior to that the band had roots in Folk and other related sub genres. For this release the band adopts a heavier sound, while lyrically the band seems to venture into the darker land of fantasy, with song titles such as “I Come From The Mountain”, Minotaur”, and “Maze Fancier” it’s not hard to see that development.
Floating Coffin starts off with the song “I Come From The Mountain”, a song that attacks with the jangly Garage rhythms, stop and start riffs and falsetto vocal duality from John Dwyer and Brigid Dawson. With lyrics like “I come from the mountain/I return again” Dwyer starts off the album with a duality lyrically and musically, one relating to the picture that he paints with this album and two with the return of another album by Thee Oh Sees that’s just as strong, if not stronger than their previous releases. “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster” follows as the second track, with its sludgy, fuzzy goodness, it hits with a new kind of heaviness, something this album explores. The title track “Floating Coffin” is a raving, super fast episode sounding like a new kind of madness, before the echo and reverb filled guitar/keys come in.
“No Spell” exemplifies more space and dynamics, giving the album a good variety and change of pace after the first three tracks, “Maze Fancier” has dual guitar parts not unlike some elements of early Thin Lizzy while the bass and drums throb with scratchy Garage rhythms. “Tunnel Time” has catchy choruses, fuzzed out Garage guitars and elements of sounds found on 2011’s Carrion Crawler/The Dream release, while the last track on the album “Minotaur” ends the album on a different note. “Minotaur” is a sombre Psychedelic song with rich cello parts and Pop elements, however the song comes off in a delicate gritty fashion. With lyrics like “Men get sick at their work/Each and everyday/There ain’t no cure but to stay/ Stay home today/Go to the beach instead”, the song hits home with something many people can relate to, but also reminds us of some of the bands earlier work in some respects.
With Floating Coffin the band may have gotten heavier musically, but they also show off a dynamism which lyrically can bring us back to elements of the bands earlier Folk based work. Musically the album mixes in elements of Carrion Crawler/The Dream even drawing some comparisons to sounds on 2008's The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In. It also adds more of a jam element extending the songs and bringing more Psychedelic and Pop elements. With so many releases coming out, it would be easy for someone to say that this album sounds just like the others that Thee Oh Sees have been releasing, it is similar in some respects, but it also shows a new development in the bands dynamic. The band builds on their already established sounds while still sounding fresh. The title of the album may be Floating Coffin, but with this release Thee Oh Sees show that the end for this prolific band is not near, it’s not even close.
This Week's Play List:
1. Pow Wows – First World Rag
2. The Auras – Top Notch Surfer Girl
3. Deep Space Cowboys – Dreaming In Space
4. The Vaselines – Roaster
5. Hooded Fang - Ode To Subterrania
6. Ramones - Judy Is A Punk
7. Ramones - Chainsaw
8. The Strokes – Welcome To Japan
9. Fire Engines – Discord
10. The Smiths – Rusholine Ruffians (John Peel Session August 1984)
11. Jay Sad – Good Health
12. Fruit Tones – Coconut Shy
13. Pink Teens – Flying Colors All The Way
14. The Cinch – Get Up & Get Out
15. Teenage Head with Marky Ramone – Full Time Fool
16. Forgotten Rebels – It Won’t Be Long
17. Subway Sect – Don’t Split It (John Peel Session 1977)
18. The Prefects – Escort Girls
19. The Troggs – Your Love
20. Black Angels – War On Holiday
21. Young Rival – Black Popcorn
22. Thee Oh Sees – I Come From The Mountain
23. Thee Oh Sees – Tunnel Time
To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 23. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.