(Castle Face Records)
Another year, another lineup change, another name tweak and thankfully another record from the prolific and consistently solid Oh Sees (formerly Thee Oh Sees, The Ohsees…).
On Orc, the band’s 19th record (give or take one or two), the group constant, singer, guitarist and sometime keyboardist and flutist John Dwyer leads the band into another collection of their, by now trademarked garage/punk/psychedelic sound. If you’ve never gotten into their other stuff, don’t expect to suddenly fall in love with Orc. However, for the openminded, this is one of the band’s best efforts. Dwyer has been working with some form of this group for 20 years now, but they show no sign of slowing down.
The hard driving album opener, “The Static God,” sets the pace for the rest of the album, a frenetic and frantic dive into several genres through layers of distorted guitars and synthesizers. They easily slide from metal (“Animated Violence”) to prog (“Keys to the Castle”) to garage (Jettison”) in the span of just three songs, highlighting the fluid nature and obvious appeal of the band.
Much like the equally prolific and equally hard to pin down King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, the Oh Sees are managing to discard the adage about quantity and quality, showing you can actually have both.