Memory Of A Cut Off Head is OCS, now formally Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees, The Oh Sees (not to mention the marvellous Damaged Bug solo project), but most importantly it is his third LP of the year and another absolute belter. You want more? There is always more and it is always surprising.
With all the muscularity of Oh Sees and the explosive experimental jams of the last 18 months, it might come as some surprise to know that OCS is a rather hushed affair. To mark their 20th year (and 100th release on his Castle Face label), John Dwyer presents the 20th album and it is a mellow, slow burning amble. Memory of a Cut Off Head was co-written with longtime collaborator and vocal counterpoint Brigid Dawson. If your knowledge of Dwyer is all about pounding drums and distortion pedals, you are really going to lose your mind here, it is an album of delicately constructed songs that owe more to baroque ballrooms than moshpits. As the reverby vocals counts you in, you can hardly believe your ears when the harpsichord starts up. There are beautifully executed strings throughout, courtesy of Heather Lockie’s fine arrangements, with equally swooning horn arrangements from Mikal Cronin. They even have a singing saw. Memory of a Cut Off Head is a smart and thoroughly inventive set of songs that will leave you in blissful reverie. All three of 2017’s album's highlight John Dwyer as arguably the most consistent writer making music right now. What ever will he do next.
Just accept it, we know nothing. We know nothing, you know nothing... just be grateful for what you get given.
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