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The Oh Sees

This time last year fans of Thee Oh Sees were salivating over the release of their dark n’ fuzzy LP ‘Floating Coffin’. John Dwyer’s psych rockers were critically praised, with instant love for the lead songs ‘Minotaur’ and ‘Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster’. Less than twelve months on, we have another nine tracks to pour over and review. Dwyer’s own label Castle Face will deliver the new album ‘Drop’ on April 19 (Record Store Day). The initial announcement was a surprise to many given that the band announced a hiatus last December after relocating from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Plus Dwyer’s solo project (Damaged Bug) released a new record in February. After more than fifteen years in the game, Thee Oh Sees aren’t afraid of hard work.

Album opener ‘Penetrating Eye’ is a raucous party starter with over the top rock riffage and a playful vocal delivery of doomsayer lyrics. That sets the tone for ‘Drop’, it’s maniac rock and it’s so much fun. ‘Encrypted Bounce’ kicks off with a danceable bassline, that’s interrupted by disjointed guitars and a crescendo that leads to, more disjointed guitars. Song writing like this doesn’t usually work but the Thee Oh Sees pull it off. The odd song structures are generally punctuated by instrumental breaks with some really trippy guitar work (‘Savage Victory’). While ‘Put Some Reverb On My Brother’ delves deep into the psychedelic 60s, like a lost hippy commune theme song.

The title track ‘Drop’ is not only a stand out but works as a summary, squashing all of the ideas and mixed up rock madness of the album into less than three minutes. Take a look at the recent video below (as premiered by Spin).  The tail end of the album is a little less vivid, ‘Kings Noise’ almost pushes the quirkiness too far with its off timed, stops and starts. But the bold and progressive ‘Transparent World’ quickly lures you back with its minimal vocals and free flowing fuzz! Closing track ‘The Lens’ is the most subdued song and rounds out a memorable record. Guitarists are going to love it, so are existing fans. ‘Drop’ is colourful, inventive and lots of fun. Is it worth picking up on Record Store Day? Yup.

More of the Thee Oh Sees and ‘Drop’ online @ Castle Face Records @ Facebook.

Thee Oh Sees - 'Drop'
Sound & Production
Reverb Rating
  • The Guitars!
  • Inventive & Fun
  • Overtly Quirky At Times
  • Just 9 Songs
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (3 Votes)

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