Thee Oh Sees - Castlemania

27 May, 2012

By Harry Dam


I was introduced to Thee Oh Sees by someone special in 2008 and soon had the chance to witness what an electric live band they are. Hadn't paid much attention to their recorded work up to now however, apart from the crowd pleasers I Was Denied and Tidal Wave, as their garage rockabilly sound seemed more accessible on stage rather than on record.


"Castlemania" was released about a year ago and John Dwyer, the main man behind Thee Oh Sees labelled it a "summery record about getting numb to life and its little pleasures". Indeed this is a trippier, less amped-up record than their previous releases. Influences abound, from Captain Beefheart, to the Cramps, the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band (the band attempts a cover of the West Coast's I Won't Hurt You in this album) and the Creation.


Songs here are concise, and no track lasts more than 4 minutes. With 13 new songs and 3 covers, the record may lack a little bit in terms of consistency, but offers some brilliant moments, like opener I Need Seed, feelgood track Pleasure Blimps and instrumental The Horse Was Lost.


Thee Oh Sees are no perfectionists but they are perhaps the most productive band in garage rock, producing at least one LP per year, since 2006. The follow-up to Castlemania, the Carrion Crawler/The Dream EP, out in November 2011, was a return to their trademark noisy garage psych formula. Castlemania, more melodic and accessible, demonstrates that versatility also ranks among Thee Oh Sees' strengths.


Oh, and in case we haven't mentioned, Thee Oh Sees are a great live band!







Primary Genre: Rock


SubgenreGarage Rock


Release Date10 May 2011


LabelIn the Red


Influences:  The Mamas & The Papas, The B52's, Jefferson Airplane


Like This And You'll Probably Also LikeThe Brian Jonestown Massacre


Album Highlights I Need Seed, Pleasure Blimps, If I Stay Too Long (Creation cover)
















"Some cacthy, upbeat tunes here, going try and catch a live show to see if what Harry D. says is true!, 7/10"





Contributor mini-profile

Harry Dam

Harry Dam

8 Fluffy Reviews
"That second hand living it just won't do"
Mini bio
A sucker for Primaverasound festival, the Guardian, Larry David, Mad Men. Old enough to have seen PJ Harvey in Rodon back in, ahemm, 1995. Martial arts hopeful, kiteboarding trainee, ex-banker, havouza-maker, professional procrastinator.  
Favourite Bands / Artists
Yo La Tengo
My Bloody Valentine
Leonard Cohen
The Magnetic Fields