Although sales never came up to par compared to 2003’s Beatitude, the 2007 full-length from Finnish crazies Pepe Deluxé was by far their greatest achievement to date. Critics gave it an Emma (the Fin Grammy), but a lack of US distribution meant few outside of Europe knew it existed, which is a shame because the beating heart of the record was largely influenced by the American psychedelic movement of the late ‘60s. These three videos will tell you their story.
Some bands hit you over the head like a sledgehammer, while others, gently stroke you with a velvet glove. Thee Oh Sees hit you over the head with a sledgehammer while wearing a velvet glove. I recently saw San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees perform as part of Noise Pop—the annual indie music festival, now in its 17th year—and still can’t remove the smile the band carved into my face.
The band led by John Dwyer (the Coachwips, Pink and Brown, the Hospitals) have a sound soaked in reverb and revved up like a muscle car on death ride. They conjure Halloween at the end of February and could re-animate a zombie crowd into shimmying teenagers.
Guitarist Dwyer and singer Brigid Dawson alternate between call and response and dual harmony, conjuring the Cramps and the B52s. This is garage-psychobilly done with vim and vigor. The songs are a bit one-dimensional but it’s a great dimension to inhabit. The rhythm section, comprised of Mike Shoun on drums and Petey Dammit also playing guitar, complete Thee Oh Sees nightmare vision.
Their most recent release, last year’s The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, is a delight and is the perfect accompaniment for a midnight drive down a deserted road. It might even turn even a casual listener into a drifting killer. I can’t get set and album opener, “Block of Ice”, out of my mind and “Adult Acid” has the swagger of Johnny Cash on LSD. This a band to line up for if they decide to go on a killing spree in your hometown.
Thee Oh Sees will be off to South by Southwest and have new record entitled Help in limited edition vinyl only out now, with a full release soon.
David Wain—the rarely disputed king of absurd comedy—is having a busy month. According to his (always-entertaining) blog, he’s currently shooting new episodes of his series Wainy Days and promoting the March 10 DVD release of Role Models. We live in hope that he’s using the remaining time and energy to expedite the DVD release of The State, which has been held hostage by MTV for well over a decade.
Dom Hoare & Andy Gillham’s debut album Sketchbook was easily one of the best albums of 2007. Yet, the Echaskech project received little press outside of the UK due to a lack of distribution. Other than that which is no fault of their own, there is no reason why Booka Shade should be as big as they are and these guys aren’t right along side them. The moving non-album single “Every Touch” came out early last year (complete with the following choice video). From all indications, their next album will be just as good as their premiere.
My Chemical Romance condenses Bob Dylan’s legendary 11-minute opus into a tidy three minutes of chugging neo-pop/punk with their cover of “Desolation Row”.
It’s only fitting that MCR’s cover of the Dylan classic should be featured on the soundtrack for the heavily-hyped Watchmen film. Laying the foundation for much of the now-iconic graphic novel’s action, Alan Moore referenced and quoted from “Desolation Row” in Watchmen‘s original prose. As Watchmen becomes the latest in a string of comic-based properties to hit the big screen, My Chemical Romance’s cover is a logical link to the intertwining worlds of comics and music slapped onto the film’s soundtrack as lead singer Gerard Way has penned his own critically acclaimed comic, Umbrella Academy—heavily influenced by Moore’s work—since 2007.