Rebranded garage rock professors Oh Sees have become a little more informal with this one -- "please, call me Oh Sees", they ask as you step into their office for a chat. Cool dads. They follow up duelling records A Weird Exits and An Odd Entrances (one a hard-hitting, twice-drummed psych rock record, the other a soft experimental curveball) with Orc, which is loud and turgid a la its title. Some of the gnarliest work here, it would appear -- "ew" is the watchword.
Double LP £25.49 CF093
Black vinyl 2LP on Castle Face.
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CD £12.99 CF093CD
CD on Castle Face.
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Double LP £25.49 CF093X
Limited indies only coloured vinyl LP on Castle Face. Edition of 1000 copies.
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It was extremely important that they changed their name from Thee Oh Sees to Oh Sees, for you see… it… the… introducing Oh Sees, everybody! If I learned one thing from this week’s press release about the new Oh Sees album, it’s that they’ve ditched the briefly hushed version of themselves that existed on ‘An Odd Entrances’ and gone back to full-throttle garage pisstake, shredding and grooving and yelping and humming like a band stuck between old-school pop bliss and their favourite raw power rock bands.
They treat music like it’s a toy: “Nite Expo” is the goofiest of Oh Sees’ songs, with silly keyboards and super-simple riffs making me, our resident listener, feel like I’m trapped in a game of Pacman. These kind of songs, get remade into proper garage rock songs with distorted guitars and the like, as if taking a song made by a child and giving it the indie label deal it deserves. “Animated Violence” takes a syncopated riff and swirls it about gleefully, making the band sound half as tight as they did seconds before with the usual sense of underlying mischief.
If you’ve heard Oh Sees before (which you most likely have, but with that pesky, clearly unacceptable Thee in the name), then you should know what to expect. Me, I always get fooled: it sounds like they’re doing one of those soft, low-key jammers like Can and that on “Jettisoned” and then they start fucking shredding and soloing and wahing all over it like a kid with no regard for how to approach a colouring book. Clearly they’re very good at this whole psych rock thing, and I’m glad they’re doing it: if they were my Facebook friend, I would unfollow but not unfriend.
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