Thee Oh Sees - Warm Slime Album Review
Main Oh See John Dwyer could be described as something of a perfectionist, or an obsessive workaholic at least. Over the course of the past thirteen years throughout the various guises of Thee Oh Sees not to mention his output with the likes of Coachwhips, Pink And Brown and The Hospitals, Dwyer has released an average of two albums a year, something which puts many of his contemporaries stuck in long-term hiatuses whilst contemplating that second album rut to shame.
The current line-up of Thee Oh Sees - Dwyer, long term cohort Brigid Dawson plus the more recently acquired Pete Dammit and Mike Shoun sounds like they could have been put together by Lenny Kaye at any point over the past four decades in homage to The Cramps. Whilst all of their previous records have come embossed with that garage squall stamp of authenticity, 'Warm Slime' drips in the finest oil embalmed with the fumes of a petrol tank for good measure.
Where predecessor 'The Masters Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In' seemed to be more experimental than anything Thee Oh Sees had been involved with, largely down to the production techniques of lauded studio boffin Dave Sitek, 'Warm Slime' goes back to basics and some. With knob twiddling duties handed over to Sacramento musician-cum-producer Chris Woodhouse of Laughing Jesus fame, there's a chaotic, almost live element omnipresent throughout that makes this one of the devastating short sharp shocks committed to tape in many a moon.
The opening thirteen-and-a-half minutes of the title track may take up the entire first side of the album a la Godspeed You Black Emperor! And their ilk but its swamp rock intro moulding into a psychedelic breakdown at the midpoint provides an unexpected juncture for a band normally associated with two minute blasts of squalid noise at best.
Parity is restored on side two, and the Cramps-like buzz of 'I Was Denied' and 'Castiatic Tackle' mixed in with the 'Helter Skelter' on cheaper drugs sounding 'Everything Went Black' makes for compulsive listening, not to mention bringing back sweet memories of their recent sweat-inducing performance at the Matt Groening curated All Tomorrow's Parties festival.
The closing couplet of 'Mega-Feast' (think Wooden Shjips after a night on the tiles listening to Black Flag) and 'MT Work', a typically raucous affair that sounds like it was recorded straight after being written brings 'Warm Slime' to a grinding halt, but one which effectively ensures after a decade and a half of prolific diligence, the ship of widespread recognition John Dwyer so deservedly craves may finally have moored.