Over & Under | Thee Oh Sees


Andrew Younker

Thee Oh Sees are the most prolific garage-rock band alive- hear that, King Gizz? Known for releasing consistent quality albums with seemingly no time in between, John Dwyer is a titan in the rock and roll world. Jumping from psych-rock to kraut rock, acoustic lullabies to heavy sludge tracks, there isn’t much Thee Oh Sees haven’t conquered. But here comes the age-old question, which albums are the best?

Overrated: Floating Coffin

Quite a few Oh Sees fans will tell you that Floating Coffin is the band in peak performance. Shredding riffs, hypnotic rhythms, yells and whoops, this album has it all. Featuring the band’s most popular track, “Toe Cutter/Thumb Buster,” Floating Coffin is definitely full of great tracks and moments. There’s no denying it’s a good album, but it can be overrated at the same time. Their previous album Carrion Crawler does everything that Floating Coffin does—big guitars, fast bass riffs— but better. Help has more edge and more of a punk feel. Warm Slime is experimental but much more interesting than some of the tracks on the back half of Coffin. Don’t get me wrong, Floating Coffin is a good litmus test for new Oh Sees fans if they want a general feel for the band, but the group has done much more impressive work beyond their most popular album.

Underrated: Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion

The band’s 2008 live album is a psychedelic folk adventure. Featuring tons of songs from their laid back album Cool Death of Island Raiders and their cult-classic The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In, Foggy Notion is hazy, mythical, and melodic. It shows a side that many Oh Sees fans never got to see- the sweet, cradling, nursery rhyme side that got them off the ground. The first track on this album is way too catchy. Dwyer sings through a taped together telephone receiver, his finger-picked guitar put through a delay pedal. Lo-fi garage has never sounded so good, so sedated, so mellow. Definitely check this album out if you can find it! Thee Oh Sees also have a reputation for not releasing all their albums digitally. Happy digging!