Thee Oh Sees, Paul Cary, Absolutely Not | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Thee Oh Sees, Paul Cary, Absolutely Not Tickets Available Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., July 23, 10 p.m. 2011

Oddball auteur John Dwyer has charted a strange path with his current main project, Thee Oh Sees, over the past few years and full-length releases (the group is prolific enough that either will work to chart its progress). Dwyer’s previous band, the Coachwhips, raised the bar on audience antagonizing and musical weirdness—a stark contrast to Thee Oh Sees’ 2009 album, Help, which contains some of the most accessible hooks of his career. Possibly in reaction to Help, on last year’s Warm Slime the band indulges the same jammy tendencies that come out during its epic live performances. On the new Castlemania (In the Red), though, the group takes a whole new tack; that’s most apparent in the amount of instrumentation not from the usual guitar-bass-drums-organ garage-rock palette, like the synthetic strings and (apparently) organic flute trills that gild the standout track “Stinking Cloud.” The song’s chorus (“Cuz we’re dead / Dead / Dead as I already said”) meshes with the album’s overarching theme of death and decay, which feels at odds with its giddy psychedelia but fits nicely with Dwyer’s bizarro tendencies. —Miles Raymer

Price: $12

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