Album review: Thee Oh Sees, “Live in San Francisco”

by Jon E. Lynch

Thee Oh Sees, “Live in San Francisco”

Available: Friday, July 15, via Castle Face Records as a CD and in two double LP formats: standard black vinyl and ‘Ultra Clear’ edition vinyl with limited flexi disc. Both formats come with a DVD of the performances.

Somewhere around three years ago, after attending my third or fourth show from the once Providence, Rhode Island-based now San Francisco stalwarts Thee Oh Sees, I made an off-handed comment on social media that John Dwyer and co. were “one of the best touring live acts today.” I completely stand by that sentiment today, even after calling it “quits” as a band, serious lineup changes and their subsequent reformation. I figured it was only a matter a time that Castle Face Records (run by Dwyer, Brian Lee Hughes and Matt Jones) released a live album from Thee Oh Sees, having already released a slew of “Live in SF” records from the likes of Fuzz, Bronze, White Fence, Destruction Unit and OBN III’s amongst many others. However, I was admittedly reticent that the release wouldn’t quite capture the frenetic energy, sweat, spewing saliva and chugging intensity that the band deserved. Thankfully, this doesn’t disappoint. Recorded over three nights at The Chapel, the track list is culled from the band’s extensive discography and well represents one of the pre-eminent garage punk bands of the last 20 years.

Recommended for pre-existing fans of Thee Oh Sees, Coachwhips, The Blind Shake, Useless Eaters, Ex-Cult and the upper echelon of heavier-leaning garage rock being made today.

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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