"Higher Art Vol. 1" C44
(Halfshell Records)

Looking at Seattle, WA’s Swamp Meat profile, I see “thee oh sees” in their tags line (per bandcamp), and I think to myself, “Do I need to research this band that I’ve been hearing about, in passing, for maybe ten years now?”

I am a person that hasn’t fallen in love with Radiohead or The Flaming Lips or Jazz or The Blues because, honestly, I haven’t been ready for it. I think that, when the time comes, a certain aesthetic or tone or chord progression will SMASH YOUR FACE IN, IN A REALLY PLEASANT WAY, and that I don’t need to rush it.  Anyways…that’s my justification for not seeing how Swamp Meat compares to Thee Oh Sees.

What I CAN tell you FOR SURE is that this album of previously unreleased tracks, Thee Oh Sees covers, and/or live songs are a great, diverse collection of cosmic, carnified-garage-psych jams and dark, chamber-pop devotional ditties (with some overlap!) that makes for great headphone listening. There’s lotsa hidden gems (like ghostly melodica lines and trembling organs) buried beneath the louder melodies (mostly richly bowed strings and/or soaring pedal-soaked guitar tones) that are well worth searching for with eyes closed.

It’s good to note, too, that this release is a fundraiser for one of the largest, non-religiously oriented homeless shelters in the PNW, so, feel free to donate!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan