Oh Sees Orc Castle Face Records
Despite hectic tours on both sides of the Atlantic since last year’s double whammy of the A Weird Exits and An Odd Entrances LPs, Thee Oh Sees have recently managed to replace a drummer, clip the ‘Thee’ from their name and deliver another new album.
Dressed in more excellent cover art by guitarist and frontman John Dwyer’s airbrusher of choice, Robert Beatty; Orc barely lets you press play before facehugging you with the hyper, unsettling lead single The Static God. Nite Expo follows with an 80s futurescape, before jolting back into familiar garage riffing.
The first half of the LP continues to serve up textbook Oh Sees. From the blistering, snarl face scuzz on Animated Violence, to the galloping and eventual dreamy waywardness of Keys To The Castle (which features the much-missed Oh Sees member Brigid Dawson) through to Jetison’s fuzzy jam room funk. As with A Weird Exits, the album’s second half is more freeform, stopping the pace for the ringing Cadaver Dog and atmospheric Paranoise. Cooling Tower could comfortably be a Damaged Bug tune and Drowned Beast is wide and expansive. Raw Optics is less vital and more a gratuitous green light for the band’s two drummers to do their thing.
With such regular releases, with Oh Sees we’re spoilt for choice. At worst, you can say this isn’t different enough from the last, but with a band this good, who cares?