Thee Oh Sees are a remarkably prolific band, Carrion Caller / The Dream being the second album the California four piece have released this year. One would expect any other band to simply run out of steam and ideas but that simply isn't the case here. Their latest offering is jam packed full of ideas and variety, there's no copy and paste filler here, each track and each moment in each track is distinct, individual and noteworthy.

This display of creativity does not necessarily lead to quality. An album can easily be a distinct and interesting piece of work and still be boring or downright awful. Additionally while a band may display a wide range of ideas within their own music, there is no guarantee that any of these ideas may be particularly new or interesting in the grand scheme of things. Thee Oh Sees are neither of these things, but they aren't exactly exceptional either. The psychedelic swirls of their music are hypnotic and compelling. The album is littered with hazy guitar solos, great rhythms and bass lines and vocals that never quite reach the realm of normality. Additionally the whole album has a ramshackle lo-fi aesthetic while never sounding bad manages to always sound alive. This is not a clean cut, tightly honed album. It's a pulsing, vibrant piece of work.

Despite these strengths Carrion Caller / The Dream fails to really make a lasting impact upon the listener. The lyrics, although occasionally strong, are often completely unintelligible. The instrumental tracks on the album, such as 'Chem-Farmer', start off strongly but often end up in desperate need of some vocals to prevent boredom setting in. Additionally, despite the variety and creativity of the album, what it's really lacking are some really good songs. There is quality here, but there's nothing that sticks out, no tracks that grab the attention of the listener as being particularly brilliant.

Thee Oh Sees have produced a strong album here, it's shows both excellent musicianship as well as a raw intensity. These are it's main strengths, the variety and creativity begin to become somewhat less important when little that is actually exceptional is produced. Probably worth a look, but don't expect to be falling in love.