Thee Oh Sees A Weird Exits Castle Face Records
There are only so many times a review of Thee Oh Sees can open with a statement about frontman John Dwyer’s prolific work rate. But that A Weird Exits is the latest in a string of LPs released at a rate of more than once yearly since 2003 says something about Dwyer’s passion.
Here, over eight new tracks, the garage rock powerhouse further pursues the tangent he took since dissolving the band’s ‘classic’ line-up in 2013. Having flirted with dual drummers in part on previous albums, A Weird Exits is the first to showcase this setup within the now permanent line-up. Alongside bassist Tim Hellman (formerly of Sic Alps), many of the songs feel crafted around this road-sharpened three-man rhythm section. This makes for a twitching – though tightly locked – rhythmic backdrop for Dwyer to Jackson Pollock over with vocals, guitar and synths.
Openers Dead Man’s Gun and Ticklish Warrior showcase Thee Oh Sees’ heavier side with a sound that’s reminiscent of 2013’s Floating Coffin, as walls of thick riffs break into sweet melodies and swirling licks. Plastic Plant and Gelatinous Cube make up the album’s middle part, for which a krauty pulse pulsates throughout. The latter is already a muscular live staple, appearing on their Live In San Francisco LP earlier this year.
The final three tracks float off spaceways, as Unwrap The Fiend Pt.2 builds from a quiet opener into a concurrent guitar and synth solo that unwinds itself at the end. Strings on Crawl Out From The Fall Out tie together voyaging tweaks and blips on the synth to an cinematic-like degree.
The Axis is a gorgeous finale, entering with a fidgety groove of Barrett-era Pink Floyd that eventually douses itself in glitchy, fuzzed-out guitar before imploding on itself completely. Go listen before the next one comes out.