The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, May 21, 2010, Music

Thee Oh Sees

Warm Slime (In the Red)

Prolific isn't the right word for John Dwyer's affliction. He's on an indefinite Master Cleanse, and music flows out of him as such. The sound of his San Francisco-based group has changed more than once over the last decade, but the last two Oh Sees LPs – 2009's excellent Help and 2008's The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, plus an array of 7-inches and EPs – found a steady groove that defined them. Dwyer's yelps paired with Brigid Dawson's sugary vox have made them a West Coast Frank Black/Kim Deal, and Warm Slime secretes the tightly wound psych-punk blues of Help, but lacks that album's urgency. The opening title track clocks in at nearly 14 minutes, the last half mostly Dwyer's guitar not-so-gently weeping, but the rest is short and sweet pop songs; closer "MT Work" is especially fun and catchy. "Everything Went Black" and "Flash Bats" hover around three minutes but never quite live up to that opening test of endurance. Whereas Help slapped you a hard backhand, Slime's the nosebleed afterward.


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