Thee Oh Sees – A Weird Exits – 2016 – Castle Face Records

This was purchased on the year of release from a charity shop for 75p. From swirling melodious folk to a right old bloody cacophonous racket and forty six years between them but strangely there is an element to this record that reminds me of a similar era. Thee Oh Sees is a San Francisco garage psychedelic who at times sound like the classic psychedelic bands of Joni’s era but have a range of styles and  a contemporary edge, John Dwyer and his compatriots have been really busy over the last decade pumping out record after record. A Weird Exits paired with their album of the same year ‘An Odd Entrances’ sees them doing some of the work of their life but don’t expect them to stand still as they have just released their next. They release swift albums and there is feeling throughout this album of speed. Its all sorted in 35 minutes. I like that. Get your songs out, don’t do loads of solos and extended jams and large build ups. Efficient unit. Proper punk spirit

However a fair amount of this record takes me into progressive realms but still keeping the punk spirit. The sounds here range from punk rock to Pink Floyd to Goblin; heck there’s even a drum solo (2 drummers, all over in 10 seconds)

I guess their trade mark sound is pummeling duel drum garage with wailing psychedelic guitars and this is plain on opener Dead Mans Gun and Plastic Plant. Those Oh Sees boys also love an instrumental and I am a sucker for instrumentals too. Well placed they can be so powerful. Think Mac Demarco’s Johnny’s Odyssey – gorgeous and sweet at the end of Salad Day and my very favourite- the imaginatively titled ‘Instrumental’ on the Only Ones’ ‘Even Serpents Shine’. Jammed Entrances is all full of science fiction morse code noises and ‘Unwrapping the Fiend’ is all punctuated by John Dwyers frankly metalic guitar style.

Bang in the middle of this they strangely morph into the Rezillo’s with Dwyer sounding almost exactly like Eugene Reynolds in the frenetic Gelatinous Cube. Later they deliver a very slow Norwegian Wood and then turn briefly into Goblin/Pink Floyd for the closer The Axis ending appropriately on an explosion. Well with all the jumping about with your identity what the hell would you expect





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