Release Date: Aug 16, 2019
Record label: Castle Face
At their best, Oh Sees songs evoke matter in flux. Their music hints at lurking violence, a lazy simmer always threatening to boil over. They've honed this sound for about 15 years under a series of similar monikers--as OCS, The Ohsees, and Thee Oh Sees, among others--with about an album a year since 2006's Grave Blockers. Despite dabbling in krautrock, psychedelia, and punk, they've remained remarkably consistent.
The Lowdown: During Oh Sees' two-decade run, they have cemented themselves as one of the most prolific artists in indie music despite having notoriously gone through numerous name changes over the years (the band is formerly known as Thee Oh Sees, The Oh Sees, The Ohsees, Orange County Sound, OCS, and Orinoka Crash Suite). The California rock outfit have changed their name almost as frequently as they have changed their sound, and that much is evidenced by the more experimental and progressive nature channeled in the quintet's last two albums, Smote Reverser and Orc. Face Stabber, Oh Sees's 22nd studio album, pushes these experimental tendencies even further.
Venturing into John Dwyer's back catalogue is not for the faint hearted. Under guise of Oh Sees, Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, Dwyer has released a prolific 21 albums, and as many singles and Eps, since 2003. Musically he encompasses alternative, garage, psych, punk and experimental rock. At times it can be an enjoyably discombobulating experience, but the frenzied ad-hoc nature of the songs can be jarring and headache inducing.