Revisiting a Psychedelic Adventure with Thee Oh Sees
The first time I heard Thee Oh See’s album Putrifiers II Demos, it was like I had gotten dosed some acid and was the passenger in an old VW bus getting hauled up and down Haight street. Thee Oh Sees have seemed to hold onto their San Fransisco roots throughout their numerous albums.
Putrifiers II starts off almost as a train would start off at the station with a subtle roar, and then dips into some ’60s psychedelic flavored rock n’ roll. It’s easy to sense hints of influence taken from bands such as the Mamas & the Papas, Velvet Underground and Patti Smith, still keeping such a unique sound that it is hard to pinpoint segregated roots.
The album starts off with “Lupine Domiunous” a sunny ’60s-esque poppy, repeating rhythm jam. Following the hype is “Cat Food” a slower, echoing, broken-hearted song to an ex-lover, complete with soft yet dizzying instrumentals (It is one of my favorite tracks on the album, lyrically and fundamentally.).
The track that follows consists of some fuzzy, high pitched re-verb, that depending on my mood sometimes I’ll skip over, but if your ear drums aren’t completely blown out by now by all means, turn it on and turn it the fuck up!!
Track number 4, “The Fakir,” will always make me dance a little; no lyrics just a good ol’ fashioned flowery field instrumental which fades nicely into “Flood’s New Light” a very airy tune for the average working man. They feel the feels in this one, with lots of “ah, bah, bah, bahs,” catchy snare drums, and claps to keep it happyyyyy!
Track number 6, “I Am Smoke,” breaks my heart every time (in the best possible way). It’s a subtlety folky acoustic sonority that tends to get stuck in my mind, which I don’t mind at all.
“Goodnight Baby,” “Hang a Picture,” “Flodd’s New Light,” and “We Will Be Scared” were all made to make love to (enough said). Track number 11, “Regular Meat” kicks a bit of a haunted vibe into the mix, reminding me of hanging out with my friends as a teen in graveyards late at night. I love how it ends with the smokey lyrics, “I turned around and looked at the sky” and just fades.
“Noisey Demo” is well…a noisey demo (again, blow your fucking ear drums out if your haven’t already!!). “You Perceive a Calling”, “So Nice” and “Wax Faces” (tracks 13,14 & 15) are a psychedelic warrrior’s ammunition for the realms of what is coming up next on the album diving into title track, “Putrifiers II,” a full visual experience starting with “my guts are buckets underground, but I grow into a field, you grow upon me, slip away.” Followed by “The Finger,” another favorite due to the almost cosmic instrumentals.
The next song, “Wait, Let’s Go,” embodies summertime, walking around with your friends (and alone), and being young, happy (and sad). “Say You Love Another” is the most melancholy song on the album despite the upbeat fuzz. The lyrics “You cry through so many eyes, I only want to be with you” close the song off beautifully.
The album ends with “Wicked Park,” a narration of a day with a friend, poetically brought together with lines like “I am a song, you sing me all day long” with some more “La, la, la’s” to echo the Mamas and the Papas some more.
Although this album was released in 2012, it has held strong as one of my favorites due to the aesthetically pleasing progressions and variations throughout the romantic, psychedelic, fuzz covered rock n’ roll, hour long experience.