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April 26, 2007

Thee Oh Sees – Sucks Blood

Filed under: Hype,Music — ihggy @ 1:34 am

[Castle Face Records; 2007]

The Oh Sees (terrible band name, but you knew that), featuring ex-Coachwhips frontman John Dwyer, make lo-fi, atmospheric, “haunted bedroom” pop music on their second record, Sucks Blood. The mood is generally low-key and quiet, basically the exact opposite of the high-energy punk of the Coachwhips. Sure, there is a tiny amount of thee garage in a few of the tunes (most notably the opener “It Killed Mom”), but it is slowed down and chilled out to the point that it is hardly recognizable. Make no mistakes; the sounds of Sucks Blood are quite beautiful and relaxing.

What really sets the album apart is the fact that Kelley Stoltz’s production choices (soaking everything here in a thick haze of reverb and distorted drone) don’t feel like a gimmick, or a mask to hide subpar songwriting, as is the case with many bedroom guitar pop albums. Instead, they give Sucks Blood a wonderful atmosphere and stylistic coherence, and always allow the songs themselves, which are very well written, engaging, memorable, and catchy when appropriate, to shine through. This record is a lovely, serene subaquatic journey. It was recorded thousands of years ago at the bottom of the ocean and won’t be discovered for another few thousand years. These are ancient sounds of the future. I do not know how else to describe it.

Buy Sucks Blood and hear more songs through The Oh Sees myspace, http://www.myspace.com/ohsees !!

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