Thee Oh Sees – Help
Rawk! I love it, especially when it’s as dumbass and sloppy as this. A fabulous LP, trading on scuzzy riffage, classic chord combinations and highly enjoyable boy-girl vocals. The opener Enemy Destruct is a Baroque mid-tempo glitter stomp, confident and fizzing and successfully trading off some pretty wolfish howling with a slacker guitar sound. Enemy Destruct is followed by Ruby Go Home, a runt from Phil Spector’s litter if ever there was one. The main trick it seems, is to repeat “Ruby go home” for as long as it takes for the unfortunate teen to indeed bugger off. It’s a stone classic.
The Oh Sees have a considerable amount of Neanderthal in their veins, how else could they get away with such slabs of imperfect brilliance as Meat Step Lively, which sounds like it’s waking up after a couple of mogadons? They play on a Cramps feel too, as well as standard 60’s pop ba-baaing (Rainbow, Go Meet the Seed) which is fine by me, and there are short but sweet sound interludes; (The Turn Round being a good example). Once or twice the band gets really cheeky; Can You See sounds like they’ve mugged The Word by the Beatles and entered it as the soundtrack to a cake baking contest in Sudbury. Very strange…
And don’t forget to check out the sublime riffage on Soda St. followed by the hypnotic work out that goes under the name of Destroyed Fortress Reapers. You’ve heard it all before, somewhere in the back of your minds, but it doesn’t make it any the less enjoyable.
Words: Richard Foster