Thee Oh Sees + Super Wild Horses at The Tote 13.01.2011

It felt as though it were a hundred million degrees inside the Tote band room as the sold out crowd packed themselves in for a night of garage, punk mayhem with Californian rockers Thee Oh Sees.

Supports for the night were local noise duo Super Wild Horses with their short, sparse tunes. Amy Franz and Hayley McKee give minimalism a whole new meaning as they whipped up a massive wall of sound with nothing more than a guitar, drums and some patchy vocal harmonies. They have the same raw deliberate laziness to their sound that Eddy Current Suppression Ring do so well, with a lot of their songs only lasting a minute or two and then stopping abruptly before they have time to really get started.

Their lo-fi, scratchy, garage rock was pleasant and their songs are a lot of fun, but the performance aspect of their set was virtually non-existent with the girls barely moving onstage (other than to swap their instruments which could be perceived as an unnecessary kitsch novelty, as neither of the band members are particularly skilled musicians) and their set was severely lacking in the energy and intensity that makes music such as this so enjoyable to partake of live. For those reasons I found their set to be a rather average affair, however the crowd lapped it up with a couple of pleasantly intoxicated fellows enjoying their own personal awkward dance marathon in the front row.

There was a lot of love in the room as Thee Oh Sees took to the stage and a riot ensued as all the die hard fans lost their shit spastic dancing to their loud, garage, post-punk catchy as fuck tunes. I’m not overly familiar with Thee Oh Sees music, other than I’ve heard they’re brilliant live, and they do live up to the hype. The four piece fogged up the windows with a short, sharp set that had everyone sweating to death as they cranked out track after track of frenetic, reckless rock. Front man John Dwyer had a lively presence and the intense, fast paced energy made for an electric atmosphere during the first half of the set.

Their music is fiercely energetic and fun, however it did seem as though they were playing the same song for the duration of their set as the selection they played all sounded really, ridiculously similar, which did become weary towards the end of the show. The crowd of course loved every second of it with mad sing a long’s to the majority of the music. Thee Oh Sees demolished the Tote like a bull in a china shop with a raucous, sweaty set that left the majority of punters exhilarated and drenched in their own bodily secretions. Whilst I wouldn’t listen to them at home, they are a lot of fun live and definitely worth seeing at least once in your life.