Castlemania

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
Buy On
  1. Jun 13, 2011
    70
    Castlemania does sound like the product of several happily productive days in this band's life; this album sounds less sinister and more playful than the bulk of their previous output, and if a lot of this is still going to seem chaotic and off-putting to anyone not flying a similar freak flag, it's an easier way in to Thee Oh Sees' curious musical world than any of their albums to date.
  2. Jun 15, 2011
    76
    All in all, Castlemania is a fairly loose and scattered record.
  3. Uncut
    Jul 28, 2011
    80
    This time they've come armed with an acoustic guitar to counterpoint their love of reverb--something that works well with their generally playful attitude. [Aug 2011, p.100]
  4. Mojo
    Nov 22, 2011
    80
    Sixteen short, sharp blasts of garage pop, Castlemania addles Dwyer's catchy, wryly dippy ditties with mind-melding mellotron blasts and acid-fried clarinet and flute additions. [Aug. 2011, p. 96]
  5. Jun 13, 2011
    83
    While it's technically another hack-and-slash assault on the senses that scorches the garage rock's hallowed ground, the album manages to find a fresh detour for the group to stagger down.
  6. Jul 14, 2011
    80
    The faint air of pie-eyed 60s silliness (song titles include Spider Cider and Idea for Rubber Dog) and Dwyer's cartoonish vocalisms could put some off, but there's more than enough sunny, funny, manic charm to make it all work.
  7. Jun 13, 2011
    70
    Fortunately, his muse digs punk and trash--these 16 basement screams are the B-sides of rock history.
  8. Jun 13, 2011
    79
    For every near-perfect slab of garage-pop, such as 2009's Help, there's a tougher-to-sit-through, psych-folk influenced effort like 2010's Warm Slime. Castlemania splits the difference, but mostly for the good.
  9. Jun 13, 2011
    80
    While Castlemania lacks the punchy, propulsive crowd-pleasers ("I Was Denied," "Block of Ice") that have lately been the band's stock and trade, the record glows with the unhinged, live-in-studio quality that translates so well to an Oh Sees live show.
  10. Aug 10, 2011
    70
    Holing up by himself, worrying about money, obsessing with death and letting the walls close in is probably not good for Dwyer as a human being, but it's certainly good for Castlemania.
  11. Jun 13, 2011
    70
    Castlemania indicates that like the most accomplished psychedelia, Thee Oh Sees are thoroughly capable of adding dimensionality to "odd"--and oddness to "pop."
  12. Jun 27, 2011
    80
    Despite the moments where you feel like you're having a bad trip, there's a deranged brilliance on Castlemania that's difficult to ignore.
  13. Jun 13, 2011
    76
    It's the band's most fractured album to date, folding art-garage conventions into themselves instead of working them into song structures.
  14. It's worth giving Castlemania a few more chances, because beneath what feels like constant disharmony, is something quite refreshing.

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