Originally posted on FILTER Magazine
Surprisingly, it’s been an entire year since Warm Slime, and Thee Oh Sees’ summer record, Castlemania, lands with the announcement of a fall album on its heels (no surprise there). A film of fuzz lifted from what used to sound like live pilot jams, Castlemania reveals a discernibly tinkered sound including flutes, horns and Mellotrons. It’s the band’s most fractured album to date, folding art-garage conventions into themselves instead of working them into song structures, especially on the dissonant instrumentals on “Stinking Cloud” and “Corrupted Coffin.” They’re at the drug fallout instead of its zenith, yet with plenty of goods—and riffs—around the corner. There’s some great comedown fodder in the final three tracks, aligned more closely with older material, but overall Thee Oh Sees sound more like they traded in rock for paint buckets in the garage—old fans will love it, first timers will trip backwards through the band’s rich, prolific catalog.