Saturday, June 13, 2015

Thee Oh Sees Mutilator Defeated At Last & Show # 564

In May 2015, Thee Oh Sees emerged with Mutilator Defeated At Last. Adding another release to their ever-expanding discography, this album differs in many ways from 2014’s album Drop. While many reviewers and critics now claim Drop as a misstep in the band’s discography, Mutilator Defeated At Last incorporates several of the elements that were explored on Drop, while at the same time revealing something familiar, yet new sounding. As one of the main vehicles for front man John Dwyer’s rock n’ roll madness, this album features a new band line-up. Tim Hellman joined on bass and Nick Murray on drums in 2014 to support Dwyer for Thee Oh Sees tour behind Drop, they also appear here. In addition to this three piece, Brigid Dawson returns for this album complimenting Dwyer’s vocals with her backing/vocal harmonies as well as Chris Woodhouse, who adds synthesizer, mellotron and percussion. He also continues his working relationship with John Dwyer by recording and mixing this album.

“Web” opens Mutilator Defeated At Last with slow, thunderous bass grooves and guitars that echo with effects and riffs. The song picks up with twisted guitar lines as the bass and drums lock into the groove while John Dwyer sings in hushed whispered tones. As the song comes to a close, guitar riffs sprawl out in combination with synthesizer, introducing listeners to a blend of their heavier and subtle side. “Withered Hand” creeps in with lethargic bass, atmospheric wind sounds and pulsating synthesizer sounds before launching into a fuzzy, scuzz driven onslaught. Lyrics convey a struggle with words such as “Rolling slowly/Face down in the mud/Rolling slowly/With an outstretched withered hand”, that help to add to the band’s medieval imagery that crosses with what seems like elements from a long lost science fiction movie on this album. “Poor Queen” is a more mid-tempo track which tells the tale of a teenage queen who claims to be sick, but one that seems to be looking for acceptance, While “Turned Out Light” brings in lumberous guitar riffs that collide with 60s garage nugget-styled sounds. Brigid Dawson takes lead vocals on this track singing of what seems to be a yearning to break out from monotony and boredom.

“Lupine Ossuary” attacks with the frenetic groove of 2011’s Carrion Crawler/The Dream as ramshackle guitars rumble in-between bass, drums and guitar leads that branch out into territories once explored by Jimmy Page and Jimmi Hendrix. With added Oh Sees intensity, this song also compliments the psychedelic freak out “Lupine Dominus” from 2012’s Putrifiers II. “Sticky Hulks” ventures into places unknown with gravitating basslines, floating synthesizers and shattering guitar shards in this album’s longest track. Along with this track, “Holy Smoke” helps to switch up Mutilator Defeated At Last’s pacing. This track is an acoustic instrumental track, with swelling synthesizers, recalling elements of Dwyer’s early solo acoustic beginnings. In contrast to Thee Oh Sees heavier, thrashier sound exhibited on Mutilator Defeated At Last, “Holy Smoke”, along with “Sticky Hulks” add depth to the album, beyond the grooves of the music.

“Rogue Planet” explores Thee Oh Sees ramped up garage/punk dynamics, recalling elements from Floating Coffin in 2013, while “Planet Doctor” burns with a slow intensity, simmering with psychedelic and prog influences in addition to infectious harmonies by John Dwyer and Brigid Dawson. The lyrics produce a story of a mysterious person or creature that knocks on the door of the doctor that lives at a great palace. Throughout Mutilator Defeated At Last’s nine tracks, Thee Oh Sees dig into a groove so deep that it will burn holes in your speakers. John Dwyer arrives energized with his new incarnation of Thee Oh Sees, who despite having mostly new members still sound like Thee Oh Sees. There is an undeniable sound to Thee Oh Sees, perhaps it is similar to the mysteriously creepy feeling expressed by the sneaky creature knocking on the palace door in the album’s closing track. With Mutilator Defeated At Last, John Dwyer and Thee Oh Sees knock on another door, yielding different results that at times draws a similar effect to the sounds explored on 2013’s Floating Coffin. Regardless of which door the band chooses to venture to, Thee Oh Sees are once again victorious.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1. The Sound Reasons - Till The End Of Time
2. The Haunted - 1-2-5
3. Thee Tsunamis - Trash Talk
4. David Bowie - Let's Spend The Night Together
5. Steely Dan - Monkey In Your Soul
6. Sunset Rubdown - Idiot Heart
7. Dark Glasses - Strange
8. Suicide - Ghostrider
9. The Vaccines - Handsome
10. The Psychedelic Furs - All Of This & Nothing
11. Dot Dash - Rainclouds
12. Tim Ray & A.V. - All Sane
13. Klark Kent - Guerrilla
14. Love - A House Is Not A Motel
15. Middle Sister - Rosasharn
16. The Locusts Have No King - Trench Song
17. Patti Smith - Pumping My Heart
18. Television - The Fire
19. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - You Spin Me Round ’86
20. Les Marinellis - Tarot II
21. X - Devil Doll
22. Motorhead - Live To Win
23. Superchunk - What Do I
24. METZ - Nervous System
25. The Shades - New Clientele
26. The Young Canadians - I Hate Music
27. Wire - Two People In A Room
28. Thee Oh Sees - Rogue Planet
29. Thee Oh Sees - Withered Hand

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for June 13. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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