Their latest release, 2011’s Carrion Crawler/The Dream, included a bunch of long, constantly mutating guitar-centric numbers that I should probably review because of chronological proximity and all that, but Warm Blood has this one song I really like so I’m going with that.
So Warm Blood is considered a slight disappointment by the fans, a pulsing pimple on the otherwise unbleamished face of Thee Oh Sees. I‘ll agree, many of the songs here don’t work as an entire album. Take the title track: interesting for the first few minutes, but then devolves into spacey guitar rock and reverb abuse not even Syd Barret would endorse. No payoff, no real form of control or tension, nothing.
Yes, the band’s usual wanton energy is there but it feels muted. Like. . .
You know when your best friend finally gets to date that one stupid hot girl (or guy, whatever) and you just sort of put up with the slightly condescending way he [or she (or he)] talks to you because you know that hot person is going to break up with them? This album is like that, only there’s never any breakup. And the two people involved are way into hallucinogens.
Thankfully, for this album, there’s “I Was Denied”. This song consistently ranks as one of the best numbers ever conceived out of Dwyer’s lonely, lunatic mind. The three-minute power pop-cum-noise rock ode to inebriation is overwhelmingly jubilant. Lyrically, it doesn’t stray too far from the I-clearly-wrote-these-in-less-than-a-minute-in-the-middle-of-a-binge that permeates the band’s entire discography but musically and sonically, it’s a welcome deviation.
In short, it’s an actual pop song. With consistent structure and “la-la-la” choruses and everything.
But yah man, Thee Oh Sees.
Even their bad records are better than most of the subpar psychedelia coming out San Francisco and wherever else these days.
Their next album, Putrifiers II, is slated to melt your mind this September.