REVIEW: Thee Oh Sees – “Plastic Plant”
by Chad Jewett
No matter how many times we find John Dwyer loosing a feral howl over a quaking, hazy garage squall, it simply never gets old. This time around, we get that galvanizing bit of sonic charge at around the 1:11 mark of “Plastic Plant”, the newest single from Dwyer’s absurdly consistent Thee Oh Sees, a collective that has ranged from burnt-out freak folk to noise-punk blasts, but who have perpetually maintained their aura of gonzo creativity. “Plastic Plant”, the band’s first single from their forthcoming new LP A Weird Exits, is of a piece with that incredible run, at once tuneful (Dwyer’s whispered verses, bathed in echo, are deceptively catchy) and excoriating, most of the track given over to treble-shocked guitars that land in melting layers above the band’s newly minted two-drummer rumble. The song’s back third temporarily cools down into something a little more mild, a little more spacious (recalling the excellent and similarly measured Mutilator Defeated At Last from last year), but then there’s that “WOOO!” again, and those guitars, glancing off one another in sharp cascades. The song is nearly six minutes long, but you wouldn’t know it from the energy at work here, the obvious bolt that Thee Oh Sees get out of coming back to that chorus again and again, each time with just a little more bite, the old punk rock quiet/LOUD trick pushed to psychedelic extremes.
[Front image by David Evanko / Mini Van Photograpy]