Thee Oh Sees, Carrion Crawler / The Dream

Austin L. Ray

By Austin L. Ray

on 11.10.11 in Reviews

For some 15 years now, John Dwyer has been forming bands, playing shows, forming new bands to play more shows and generally doing the punk-rock version of hard work. No surprise, then, that this is the second album from his most notable project this year. Unlike May’s Castlemania, Carrion Crawler/The Dream is a little less catchy, and a little more in-your-face, with nearly no indication that this is a band that oftentimes dabbles in psych-damaged folk. Sometimes, you just gotta rock.

Guitar-led jams over pop jems

With rare exception, Carrion chooses guitar-led jams over pop gems. Meditative tracks like “Robber Barons” and noodling rockers like “The Dream” are the norm here; it’s not exactly an all-together sober affair, but it’s also far from giddy. Even the catchier numbers like “Chem-Farmer” are bereft of vocals, as if to say, “Nothing to say here. Just nod your head to the groove.” By album’s end, you’re left wondering what’s next. Chances are, Dwyer’s already booked the studio time.