The best band I've seen over the past couple days was Thee Oh Sees, a San Francisco group that played some seriously hip-shakin', ear-ringin', howlin' garage rock. They had plenty of energy, but when that's the best thing you can say about a band, it's about as backhanded a compliment as they come. Yet every song kicked into serious overdrive: lots of fuzz, reverb, tambourine, keyboards -- all the little things that make songs better. It's a hard genre in which to stand out, because the template is so standard, resulting in plenty of bands that sound entirely the same. But Thee Oh Sees breaks from the pack, in both songwriting and performance.
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