Holy crap, John Dwyer has made twenty albums in a little over ten years under Thee Oh Sees’ umbrella?! Like his buddy Ty Segall, Dwyer is so ridiculously prolific that it’s too easy to take Thee Oh Sees for granted. So let’s check in on what this garage/psych-rock icon has put out recently, shall we?
Oh Sees – Orc
Album #19 drops Thee from the band’s name and thus its usual place in your MP3 files. But don’t lose track of Orc. This album is all killer and no filler, featuring shredding Detroit Rock City guitars, glam-rock keyboards and sprinkles, and pinched vocals by what sounds to be the cast of the 70s children’s show H.R. Pufnstf. Two drummers hit tighter than a duck’s ass and let the band lean into tasty extended jams, as illustrated on lead track “The Static God.” Just like that, Dwyer has made another essential album.
Orc is available now on Castle Face Records.
OCS – Memory Of A Cut Off Head
Originally, before there was Thee Oh Sees, there was OCS, Dwyer’s recording project featuring fellow vocalist Brigid Dawson. She continues to pop in and out of Dwyer’s bands (that’s her in the background on Orc) but now shares dual lead vocal duties on album #20, which revives the OCS moniker. Memory Of A Cut Off Head presents a baroque psychedelia of harpsichords, strings, horns (arranged by fellow traveller Mikal Cronin), and folk-rock ballads that could suit a royal audience. A mellower affair than Orc, the album pleases with its nuanced arrangements and the emotional resonance of its vocal performances.
Memory of a Cut Off Head is also out now on Castle Face Records.