Thee Oh Sees, “Mutilator Defeated at Last”

CF-055coverThee Oh Sees
Mutilator Defeated at Last
CASTLE FACE
7/10

Thee Oh Sees allegedly went on hiatus in 2013, but this is the second full-length that John Dwyer and company have released under the group’s shifting moniker since. This umpteenth album starts with “Web,” a rumbling growl of feral psychedelia that soon turns into a stuttering, insistent surge of paranoid euphoria. From there, it’s a trip into the deepest recesses of the human psyche, as organs and guitars swell and swirl on the likes of the jaunty “Turned Out Light” and the slower, maudlin “Sticky Hulks.” Perhaps a bit anachronistic, these nine tracks could easily be from the late ’60s, but none of them feel dated. Instead—the aimless instrumental of “Holy Smoke” aside—they’re full of a vibrancy that transcends the age of their influences. It makes for a hazy dream of a record, one that both advances the band’s malleable sound and operates within it. It’s nothing groundbreaking for the now-LA-based group, but Mutilator’s explosive yet carefree energy is something listeners have grown to crave uncontrollably between releases. Thankfully, there’s always a new one right around the corner.

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