#36

October 16, 2010

Coachwhips Bangers vs. Fuckers
punk, noise-rock, garage-rock
2003

Meet the loudest band in existence. Before he fronted Thee Oh Sees and started trading in psychedelic rock, John Dwyer led three piece garage-punk outfit Coachwhips through three albums of blistering, noisy, tear-the-walls-down rock ‘n’ roll. Bangers vs Fuckers, Coachwhips - Bangers vs. Fuckerstheir final release, is so loud and rocks so impossibly hard that you actually need to exercise a little caution when putting it on – the album was mastered at such a ridiculously high volume, that if you play it through headphones on your “default” volume setting you run the risk of pulverising your skull. While Thee Oh Sees are a lot more floaty in their retro-recreation, Coachwhips immediately get to the point, and then proceed to jackhammer it directly into your pleasure centres with nasty glee. By all accounts, Dwyer seems like a bit of an a-hole on this album, slurring his way through his near-incomprehensible filtered vocals while virtually swallowing the microphone, and playing his guitar with the furious pace and sloppy distortion you’d expect from someone on the tail end of a 48-hour cocaine binge, but there’s a roguish charisma to his madness that easily stops you from ever really being bothered. “You Gonna Get It” and “I Knew Her, She Knew Me” rate as my personal favourites, but the album races by so quickly (the whole thing is over in just over twenty minutes!) that it honestly feels like a bit of a blur. The first time I listened to this, I penned a very brief review which simply read “Holy shit. I think my head just exploded.” That should tell you everything you need to know.

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#53

September 24, 2010

Thee Oh SeesThe Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In
psych-rock, garage-rock, noise-rock
2008

The Oh Sees deliver fifteen slices of fuzzed-out, druggy garage-rock on The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In, without a piece of filler in sight. Choruses of ghostly vocals Thee Oh Sees - The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night Inecho their way around the snappy percussion, sharp basslines and dense layers of dirty, jagged guitar riffs which slice through sheets of distortion like razors, while the heavily filtered vocals and gauzy production lend the album a nostalgic, retro vibe that’s authentic and awfully appealing. The songs here are about 3/4 riotous rockers and 1/4 hazy, trippy detours, and the album is sequenced quite perfectly to space the latter out amongst the former in a very pleasing manner. It’s also the sort of album so consistently great that picking highlights can be very tricky indeed, although personally I think the blistering opener “Block of Ice”, the super-surreal and very appropriately named “Graveyard Drug Party” (which features some great echoes of muffled, choppy guitar), the slightly poppy title-track and, in particular, the acid-soaked stomper “Visit Colonel” stand out from the pack. The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In is a shining example of top-shelf garage-rock, and it’s got one hell of a funny title to boot. You could certainly do a lot worse than spending a night in its company.