Carrion Crawler / The Dream
If you think you might skip a release by San Francisco psych-kings Thee Oh Sees now and again (they’re astoundingly prolific), you’ll reconsider when you fall into the chomping rock ’n’ roll maw of “Contraption/Soul Desert.” One of their finest tunes, the song exemplifies all that’s right and perfect about John Dwyer and his band of musical thugs. It careens between tense windups and arms-in-the-air freefall with furiously clamoring guitars. Menacing bass lines and double-duty drums race to the finish line (Lars Finberg of the mighty Intelligence is a second drummer on Carrion Crawl). There’s no getting away from this tune or the rest of the collection, which hits all the right marks. There’s brisk, blistering, no-nonsense garage rock (the epic “The Dream,” “Opposition”), heaving, hallucinogenic weirdness (“Crack in Your Eye”), and trademark T.O.S. stompers with a slightly cleaner guitar sound that leaves more precise toothmarks (“Crushed Glass,” “Chem Farmer”). The relentless closing track, “Heavy Doctor,” is all vintage organ, breathtaking snare-bashing, and pure ‘60s guitar howl’n’scrape.