Oh Sees


Oh Sees

Sun, October 28, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$18.00 - $20.00

This event is all ages

Oh Sees
Oh Sees
Psych-punk psychic warrior, ear worm-farmer, and possessor of many stamped passport pages John Dwyer does not let up. His group Oh Sees (aka Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, etc) have transmogrified to fit many a moment - from hushed druggy folk to groovy demonic pop chants to science fictional krautrock expanse and beyond - to suit his omnivorous whims. It’s common knowledge however, that at their shows, you’re there asking for a beating. 20 years going and the shows keep getting more and more intense, as many a soupy swarm can attest. The locked-in Rincon/Quattrone drum cops propel masses of strangers to froth and lean into each other as the insistent and repetitive underpinning tumbles nimbly from Tim Hellman’s bass. Meanwhile John ricochets breathy yips and snippets of synth and all manner of guitar heroics around your brain canyons while your reptile instincts yell “move”. Brain-stem body rock meets cerebral expanses, and their now du jour prolifically feeds a labyrinthine garden of well-hewn tunes.

Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the group, stretching out further into space while simultaneously sharpening their heaviest inclinations to a rusty point. After a re-visitation of the softer side of the genesis of the group with “Memory of a Cut Off Head”, all signs point to another banger on the horizon as the group decamps this March back to the dusty pecan farm where Orc was spawned for another go-round.
Yeah, that sounds about right. But it misses a more important point—how impossible Thee Oh Sees have been been to pin down since Dwyer launched it in the late '90s as a solo break from such sorely missed underground bands as Pink and Brown and Coachwhips. (While Dwyer still records songs on his own, Thee Oh Sees is now a five-piece featuring keyboardist/singer Brigid Dawson, guitarist Petey Dammit, drummer Mike Shoun, and multi-instrumentalist/singer Lars Finberg.)

That restlessness extends to everything from the towering, 13-minute title track of 2010's Warm Smile LP to the mercurial moods of 2008's The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In. And then there's the Bay Area band's recent track record, as Thee Oh Sees chased the home-brewed symphonies of Castlemania with the scrappy high wire hooks ofCarrion Crawler/The Dream. Originally envisioned as two EPs, it was cut live to tape in less than a week at Chris Woodhouse's Sacramento studio in June, reflecting the battering ram bent of the band's live show better than any bootleg ever could.

"As I'm sure most would agree," explains Dwyer, "Castlemania was more of a vocal tirade. This one's meant to pummel and throb."

That it does, whether you blast the slow, speaker-bruising build of "The Dream," the sunburnt organs and dovetailing guitars of "Crack In Your Eye," or the interstellar instrumental that is "Chem-Farmer," a perfect example of what happens when you take a well-oiled machine—a gang of rabid road warriors, really—and add a second, groove-locked drum set to the mix. To listen is to realize that Dwyer's music is as manic as the underground comic inclinations of his artwork; colorful and confusing in a way that's more than welcome. It's downright refreshing, like a slap in the face at 5 in the morning.

Or as Dwyer puts it, "You have to leave a mark somehow."
Venue Information:
The Lowbrow Palace
111 E. Robinson Ave.
El Paso, TX, 79902