29 May 2010

Thee Oh Sees & Wounded Lion

So the new Thee Oh Sees album is a good one huh? I'm still digesting their last LP, Dog Poison, which was basically a solo stoner project for singer John Dwyer under Thee Oh Sees name: it worked = I bought it.

Warm Slime (In The Red) is as different from Dog Poison as Dog Poison was from Help. What I mean is Thee Oh Sees have a style of sound their own and still manage to switch it up/down each record they make. Treat Warm Slime like an EP but not exactly an 'in-between album' deal because this band are super prolific and release consistently strong material without care for a typical discography. Great bands releasing albums whenever they damn-well please suits me.

I love how the title track is stretched to over 13 minutes (the entirety of side A) with six short, loud and catchy tunes on the flip. Warm Slime (the song) could have been cut down to four minutes, but why should it? I Was Denied and Everything Went Black are favorites and might be familiar if you saw any of the bands Melbourne shows last December. A solid bunch of songs here: they sound like one-take, live performances with very little post production. I love everything about this band.

Another band whose debut LP (again via In The Red records) I've been excited to hear is Wounded Lion, a five-piece from LA. Yes, this is the band I compared, sort of, to Vampire Weekend in an old post. I still stand by that claim, but yeah, the Clean, Cramps, Modern Lovers is probably a better indication. But fuck, I hate comparisons, what band at the moment with a jangle guitar and a keyboard isn't being compared to the Clean / J. Richman?

First heard these guys through a 45, Carol Cloud b/w Pony People way back in 2008. Both tunes are on the album, both re-recorded, which you can kinda understand, though I cringe when bands re-record early singles for a debut and lose the original feel of what made the song great. Both had a crunchier guitar and chunkier bass and drum sound; that manic ending to Pony People is nowhere to be found on the album. That said, both songs are actually decent versions that work with the record's overall feel.

Wounded Lion are a weird looking band - very un-photogenic. Pop hooks, arcane lyrics, and a  sense of fun spill out of this weirdness in a big way. Any band that makes its own film-clip using Power Point that turns out like this has my vote. For an mp3 of album highlight Creatures In The Cave click here.

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