Friday, July 11

Creepy Tunes for Creepy People

Artist: Thee Oh Sees
Album: The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending A Night In

Comments: Creepy is not usually a positive description when it comes to music. However, Thee Oh Sees make creepy work on their long-windedly titled The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending A Night In, causing the average listening experience to become heightened, like something out of an eerie Quentin Tarantino flick. It may sound wild and unsettling, but in its explorative manner, it allows for some interesting tunes. And of course, drugs. Lots of drugs.

Despite all the trippy vibrations, more detail is paid to a straight sound rather than a constant chaotic vibe (which is more prevalent on Thee Oh Sees 04 release Sucks Blood), but all you kids who dig on that lo-fi sound the MTV seems to love so much these days should not cower behind your Times New Viking vinyls. The record still sounds like it was recorded using two tin cans and a string, all is still OK with the world.

The first track of The Master’s Bedroom is the catchy “Block of Ice.” Dual Singers Brigid Dawson and John Dwyer (who also plays guitar) combine their echoed vocals together clearly reciting “I am one, you are two, we are three,” whatever that means. The final touch is the slightly screechy guitars, which add to the pseudo-surf sound, like a 1960’s beach blanket flick gone horribly wrong.

Speaking of out-dated teenage digs, I’ll spoil it for you readers; there is a “Grease” and ”Grease 2” on The Master’s Bedroom. But due to the messed up priorities or “art” of Thee Oh Sees, “Grease 2” comes before “Grease”. I guess the band never took the time to compare the two movies (even though these tunes deal nothing about the movies themselves). Obviously, the original Grease is better than its sequel, it’s a known fact. Anyway, “Grease 2” in this case, is an amped up spazzy country-pop tune, while the latter “Grease” is slower in tempo and more interesting in its’ sleepy musical mannerisms.

As stated previously, The Master’s Bedroom is much like a Tarantino film, any of them, really. The best track to exemplify this parallel is the warped “Ghost In The Trees.” A cruising surf-like is laid down by drummer Mike Shoun while the helium induced vocals of Brigid and John combine in an unsettling unison, like a choir of specters who never got the message that the Civil War is over.

In addition to this ghostly presence, there is also a female presence on the record that you won’t find on any previous Oh Sees release. The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In gives Brigid a chance to show-off her vocal presence. The downside to this track, and the majority of the other songs, is the fact the vocal parts of the sound recording are naturally speedy, which often creates a jumble of gibberish. This may add to the overall feel of drug-induced hazyness prevalent throughout most of the record, but it lends a sort of cosmic insight to the album.

To end the The Master’s Bedroom is the white-noise lullaby of “Koka Kola Jingle.” With that the album ends on a quiet note, leaving a startling chill behind, waiting for something to happen, but nothing does. Like with any Quentin Tarantino movie.

-Erin Mae Szriankowski

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