Thee Oh Sees - Mutilator Defeated At Last

All we can really say is that listening to a new LP by the Thee Oh Sees is a true seat-of-the-pants ride.

(Castle Face Records)

There's one truly great thing about Thee Oh Sees that trumps all other concerns. That is their capacity to make music that you can enjoy without a care in the world. No hang ups, no doubts. Even if they fell out of fashion or if Mr Dwyer couldn't be arsed making a record for a decade, you know damn well that the next Oh Sees LP would be a blast. Regardless of changes in band members or fashions or solo projects, they keep on delivering.

In many respects there's no point trying to analyse why they do. All we can really say is that listening to a new LP by the Thee Oh Sees is a true seat-of-the-pants ride. Always of, and within, the moment, and encouraging wanton delirium on your part. You can well imagine yourself full of cola bottles and gin, strapped to the back of a brightly painted old Willis Jeep, (orange, purple and red if you must know) flying past a number half remembered reference points and familiar signposts towards an unknown destination. You are aware that "shit" will stop or slow down at some point, and that there is an end. The rest is just you guessing. You're swept along by the adrenaline rush of tracks like Rogue Planet,  Poor Queen, or the hip shaking Turned Out Light. Oh, and it's also really cool how they've managed to incorporate their more reflective side on this LP without sounding, soft or sappy, which was an issue with their last LP. Sticky Hulks and Holy Smoke are gems with pin sharp edges; the folk rock guitar patterns on the latter being balanced by squidgy mid 90-s Cope mellotrons & synths.

So this record is the classic Oh Sees bubblegum mix of old and new, a personal vision wrapped up in an "Everyman" approach. And yes, they sound like everyone and themselves at the same time - for the umpteenth time too; how do they do it? That Transmission guitar line balanced against Sabs-style "wall of guitar" grizzle in Withered Hand. How do they make these reheated and hoary old chunks of rock's flesh look so appetising, fit for one last guzzle?  Lupine Ossuary nabs nuggets from Jimi, Groundhogs and Can, and makes a brilliantly poppy stew. How?

Who cares, frankly?