Thee Oh Sees - Block Of Ice





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Uploaded on Nov 25, 2008

By Kalen Lao
from beatroute.ca

Earlier this year, Thee Oh Sees delivered "The Masters Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In" and it was the album that John Dwyer fans have been craving all along: the song craft of The O.C.s/The Oh Sees/Thee Oh Sees with the visceral garage rock pummel of Dwyers former band The Coachwhips.

Their new live DVD/CD release, Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion, is a return to their pre-Bedroom sound minimal, sparse pop with barely a trace of Bedrooms feedback-laced rock. The good news is Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion is as good as Bedroom, if not better. Recorded last year around the time that the pre-Bedroom album Sucks Blood was also recorded, Hounds is mainly about the DVD (the CD serves as the companion soundtrack). This is not just any live DVD. Thee Oh Sees recorded Hounds around various locales in San Francisco - the side of a highway, a harbour, a forested area and more. It is all beautiful scenery indeed, without a conventional stage and audience to be seen or heard. In between songs, Dwyer & Co. share some generally entertaining tour stories.

What about the music? With consistent production that a live recording provides and excellent song selection, the strength of Dwyers songs comes through like no other Oh Sees album before (excluding Bedroom). While Bedroom mildly suffers from a halfway slump, Hounds offers full consistency. From beginning to end, it offers a showcase of Dwyers song writing talent without a single clunker among the bunch. Bedroom fans may be interested in the stripped-down versions of Block of Ice and Ghost in the Trees which are as effective as the originals.

The night to Bedrooms hot summer day, Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion, while being different from the former, further ups the ante and boosts expectations for anything Thee Oh Sees may put out next. Its an unexpected surprise and one of the years best yet again.

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