Oh Sees - Orc
John Dwyer and his Oh Sees project continue to keep things on schedule. Another year, another Thee Oh Sees album, (err just Oh Sees now), and while the formula never changes all that much, things seem to evolve ever so slightly from release to release.
2016’s A Weird Exits pushed things with heavier synths, more proto-rock rubberyness and an increasingly massively throb of noise that was measured in excess throughout. The awesomely titled, and inked, new record Orc does all of those things and then some. There’s more nuance and dynamic interplay on the Zeppelin-like “Jettisoned” (albeit with fried guitars and crude breakdowns) with Dwyer proclaiming “The underground is twice as nice.” I don’t think he’s talking about underground music, no no. Orcs! “Animated Violence” leans on metal-like powers, more than Oh Sees ever have, but it suits them quite perfectly. Vibrating fuzz and everlasting sustain envelop the guitars and the double-drum attack plods this baby into supreme humanoid worship.
Recorded outside their comfort zone with Ty Segall, Eric Bauer and Enrique Tena in Texas, Oh Sees are perfecting a long and steadily rewarding recording career. While their classic sound of relentless buzzsaw guitars with sing-a-long melodies may be sort of extinct, (after Dwyer ended that lineup in 2013), we now have something weirder, more evil but still heavy as hell. Is Dwyer finding prog? You could make a case with the excursions of “Paranoise” on side C but there’s too many creepy atmospheres and sinister tones to mistake this as anything even near Gentle Giant. They do somehow channel Stereolab (?!) on “Cooling Tower” but it’s with a propulsive-ness that is right in the Oh Sees wheelhouse.
At the end of day, Orc delivers once again because Oh Sees just know how to slay. John Dwyer squeezes everything he can out of his toolkit and consistently yields a massive sound. With that in mind I will always worship at the altar of Oh Sees. All hail Orc! (Dom)
Check out a track here.