Oh Sees - Orc album review

Lysergic emanations from behind the garage door

Cover art for Oh Sees - Orc album

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Despite a Whovian approach to nomenclature – they’ve been the Oh Sees, The Ohsees and Thee Oh Sees among many, many others – the one constant to Oh Sees and bandleader John Dwyer has been their evangelical fervour in the cause of gloriously deviant rock’n’roll. And so it goes with Orc, the band’s 19th album in as many years. Yet anyone expecting a straightforward thrill ride of buzz-saw nuggets is in for a kaleidoscopic wake-up call.

As evidenced by the band’s summer rampage across any number of European festivals they laid waste to, not only have Oh Sees increased their rhythmic attack in the form of the twin drum onslaught of Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone, they’ve also ramped up the cosmic flourishes to brain-scrambling levels.

While the sonic hooliganism of The Static God snaps and snarls with an economic fury and Nite Expo grooves with intent and menace, Keys To The Castle finds Oh Sees brewing up a potent and intoxicating potion of garage ramalama, prog rock and psychedelia that’s a trip in its own right. Likewise the synapse-frying madness of Paranoise.

Thoroughly anti-social and wonderfully obnoxious throughout, this is kick-arse psych’n’roll as it should be.

Julian Marszalek

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.