Oh friends, what a special year 2011 must be to earn two, yes, two (!) new albums from San Francisco titans of garage-rock Thee Oh Sees.
First, in the spring, came Castlemania. Next, on Nov. 15, we shall receive another full-length, titled Carrion Crawler/The Dream. Why? Who? Where? These are distracting questions -- and "Carrion Crawler," the newest Oh Sees track you can hear right now, is enough of a distraction on its own...
The song is nearly six minutes of once-distilled Nuggets groove, introduced by squawking saxophone and sustained by the eerie toil of an electric piano. Only after a minute do John Dwyer's vocals arrive, and then only somewhat distantly -- they alternate throughout the song (whose forward march never wavers) with several guitar solos that sound more like guitar implosions, each one more a caustic death howl than the last. Before long, the trucking rhythm bids farewell with a last hiccup of guitar, and the song ends without ceremony. It is longish, unfocused, and loose, but, friends, "Carrion Crawler" is also joyfully abrasive. Give it a listen: