Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits

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  • Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits

Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits

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InfoCD & LP12th August 2016

The Drift 2016 Record of the Year; the svelte, muscular, hugely addictive and utterly life-affirming A Weird Exits from San Francisco's Thee Oh Sees.


We know that a bunch of you are already giving this the affirmative nod, you know these guys rip hard. We can only make assumptions or unravel conspiracies as to why, but some of you might not know Thee Oh Sees, you might not have heard quite possibly the world’s best garage band. For any of you that spend more than a passing prowl into the Drift shop, you will have heard them, you will definitely have shaken your bones and bopped your gleeful heads under pumping neck muscles to the Californian bombers. Thee Oh Sees are a band that make you feel something, they’re a band that make chemicals pump from your brains.


A Weird Exits is the 17th studio album released by John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees (in one form or another), the most prolific of all psych-shredders. Their live shows have elevated ever upward, from word of mouth storms, to sold-out tours and appearances synonymous with full out-of-body rock and roll euphoria. The Castle Face Records label (that John Dwyer in part runs) has been running a live series over the last few years under the Live in San Francisco banner. Previous recordings have logged explosive live sets from fellow garage stalwarts Destruction Unit, White Fence, Fuzz and the scene’s kingpin Ty Segall. In July this year, the series released the one we’d all be waiting on, Thee Oh Sees in their native environment, melting faces. Their show at the Chapel in San Francisco is utterly superb, one of the first appearances of the pumped new double-drum line up of Thee Oh Sees. It’s captured so honestly, “our shutters aflutter and our tapes on a roll”; it’s just the way it went down, a band in full flight. The set is fairly recent, with 2013’s Floating Coffin and last year’s Mutilator Defeated at Last album filling over half the tracklist; then, right as the curtain is about to fall, comes the thunderous Gelatinous Cube, the first tease of August’s studio album A Weird Exits.


It arrived barely six weeks on from the release of the double live album. A Weird Exits is the first set of studio recordings that capture the muscular rhythm section of twin drummers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon, cracking spines with ringer bassist Tim Hellman. In Dead Man’s Gun, Thee Oh Sees have unleashed a truly great ‘side one track one’, with an exhilarating stomper of an opening. The song is tightly wound, the psychotic-staccato hurls the track into the first chorus in the fastest possible time, it’s like the song had been playing for about 25 seconds before anyone bothered to hit record, breakneck speed and utterly thrilling. With a stomp of the fuzz box and an almighty WOOOO, the song explodes through the gears, and A Weird Exits has set its stall as a chemical-surging, euphoric rush like no other. The most exhilarating part is that it is all so unhinged, they are a band of great technical ability but there is always the overwhelming sense that it could explode at any minute.

As an album there is much drive, but it’s also nuanced, and across the tracks there is a lot more going on than just kicking and screaming. Good sections of the album are instrumentally focused, lead lines where the instrumentation is hard to decipher. The twin drummers provide such a full and cosmic suite that there is loads of room for the songs to change direction and tone. Whereas big parts of their back catalogue fell in line with psychedelic pop, this new line-up and set of songs are clearly more focused into an expansive headspace. The reverb in particular is amazing, through the churns and the drones, they’ve crafted a sort of 21st century take on the baked surfer rock tone. Across the album there are loads of loose mid-tempo grooves, it’s not all about the smash and grab. A Weird Exits is a joyous album, thrilling in its high-octane garage clatter, and utterly mesmerising in its avant psychedelia.

In July they released an amazing live album, in August our record of the year: and now, as 2016 is all set on rails for the slow and excruciating descent towards Michael Bublé, Thee Oh Sees will return this November with their 18th full-length studio album… An Odd Entrances. Are they prolific? Obsessive? No rest for the restless. The fertile sessions that created A Weird Exits set in motion something altogether more contemplative. If A Weird Exits is a party, then An Odd Entrances is the soundtrack as the sun pours in through the curtains, as the memories of last night haze and vanish in front of your eyes. It is experimental with locking rhythms and reverbs, as genuinely psychedelic and trippy as the last moments of The White Album. The drums shuffle and the guitars shimmer, lush, doomy and at times dreamy. The two parts together have Thee Oh Sees in their fully realised form. They are pretty much untouchable, life-affirming rock and roll that grabs your hearts and minds and hurls you about.

1. Dead Man's Gun
2. Ticklish Warrior
3. Jammed Entrance
4. Plastic Plant
5. Gelatinous Cube
6. Unwrap The Fiend Pt. 2
7. Crawl Out From The Fall Out
8. The Axis

 

 

Artist Thee Oh Sees
LabelCastleface