Here’s the thing: Thee Oh Sees are prolific and can do no wrong. When someone said, “Oh, it’s just a singles collection” I looked them right back and said, “It’s Thee Oh Sees!” There is a reason this is Volume 3 of the singles collection. They must have done something right with the first two volumes! The great thing about a singles collection is that it isn’t an album; it allows each song to stand on it’s own as a representation of the band’s latest sounds. It is a showcase. This collection features electrically charged garage-psych rock tunes with a coating of distortion and scuzz. Thee Oh Sees are good at many things, one being sonic experimentation. Scratching guitars and utilizing equipment in innovative ways has made John Dwyer, and this band in general, iconic. “Burning Sphere” (#4) makes sure you know just what has made them so famous. Opening with a steady pounding rhythm against scratchy, uneven guitars, this is probably what Dorothy felt like when she was sucked up in the tornado. I really dig this song, but could see the station getting calls complaining about the “noise.” So definitely play it! The next track, “What You Need” (#5) is still experimental, but perhaps more digestible for the layperson listener. I cannot get enough of “Wait Let’s Go” (#7). The simple guitars and catchy vocals have me craving summer and conveys a carefree let’s-go-outside vibe. Adding the two live tracks at the end was the nail in my Oh Sees coffin. These tracks really push the energy and organized chaos of a Thee Oh Sees concert with intense 10 minute long jams. Yeah, the live tracks (#10 and #11) are 7 minutes long and 10 minutes long, if you’re looking to fill time. This album is nothing earth shattering, but is an essential for any fan of Thee Oh Sees, garage rock, psychedelia, or experimental tunes.
Just a singles collection my ass.
REC: #1, #7, #5, #4, #8
RIYL: Ty Segall, The Black Lips, The Intelligence
Reviewed by Katie Barrett on 2.13.14