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Protean Threat

    Latest iteration of John Dwyer’s everchanging, impossible-to-describe band.

    Witness the ever-changing, ever-mutating threat that is reality. Perception is under duress; sensibility is bending everyday under the barrage of nonsense. One must make note of whom one is and what one has become: look into the mirror of the planet-killers—psychic cannibals infiltrate and contaminate once familiar and seemingly secure territories… formidable foes indeed! What powers these beasts? What fuels discord and hatred? The behemoth of a “civil” society? What are the weapons at one’s disposal? Generosity is the aegis against greed, empathy is the armor to deflect apathy, love is the club to abate hate…the fog is lifting and humans are opening their eyes.

    And so Castle Face offers this field recording, the Osees Protean Threat, from the pits as a quick booster between protein pills and recycled sweat beverage anthems to assist the listener to not worship at the altar of violence and greed, to not offer oneself up for free, to stand up and be vigilant! Truth will not be found in the speeches and photo ops of the overlords— stand strong and together under the gaze of the oppressors. Stand vigilant, united with those who don’t have the same privileges. Demand respect and a peaceful life for all. This recording is at the apogee of scuzz—punk anthem amulets for the ears and heart, a battery for one’s core. Be strong. Be human. Be love.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: They're going to start running out of different iterations of those 5 (or 6) letters soon aren't they? No matter the moniker, this is classic Oh Sees territory, mathy guitars, perfect production and DRIVE. Quintessential OCS.

    Bent Arcana

    Bent Arcana

      Ft. John Dwyer, Ryan Sawyer, Peter Kerlin, Tom Dolas, Brad Caulkins, Kyp Malone & Marcos Rodriguez “This is the first interstellar transmission from five days of electrified and improvised sessions recorded at Stu-Stu-Studio, edited down to forty minutes for your earballs. “Bent Arcana is the inceptive chapter in what I hope to be several releases showcasing these types of off-the-cuff musical compositions. So you can try your fry on and turn off. This one is very much on the ECM / ’70s hard fusion / prog-kraut tip. It is a many pronged weapon, swung by the spontaneous sentinel.” —John Dwyer

      STAFF COMMENTS

      says: Jazzy hooks and careering free-psych freakouts are tempered by more restrained moments of groove that only the culmination of talent such as this can achieve. A group perfectly in tune with the skills and intentions of all the rest is an exciting prospect indeed. Bent Arcana is a force to be reckoned with.

      Damaged Bug

      Bug On Yonkers

        “I first heard Michael Yonkers via the Microminature Love reissue (Sub Pop) and was immediately hooked. I started collecting any piece of his legend that I could…some true, some likely not. He had hand-built all of his gear. He had broken his back. He was part of experimental surgery that left him in lifelong pain. He was a dancer. He was still kicking around making some of the oddest and most contrary-to-contemporary-popular-norms type of music. (A man after my own heart) And then I heard Goodby Sunball, recorded and released in 1974, the year I was born. I had and have a very deep connection with this set of songs. I wasn’t sure why, but when I finally met Michael, I understood. He was kind and seemingly a pretty regular guy. But he was also a weirdo. A rare bird, waving the true freak music flag, and it didn’t matter what kind of music he made, I loved it all. So, this record was recorded as a way to reboot and reconnect with some songs that have heavily inspired me over the years. It was hard to pick from his vast catalog, so I just sort of jumped in, with Tom Dolas, Nick Murray, and Brigid Dawson as my band (along with a bevy of others along the way) and these are the tunes that stuck to the wall. I will forever be grateful to Mr Yonkers for bringing me a little joy with his music and inspiring weirdos everywhere.”—John Dwyer, Feb 2020.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: Limited MOONPHASE vinyl!

        Once And Future Band

        Deleted Scenes

          "The space-age songsmiths of Once & Future Band have been ting-tinging away on the truly heavy anvil of hominid perspective and emotion again to bring you this singing scape of songs.
          Annealing for over a year now, until it was cool enough to hold in your ears, nested in the pinnae, the time has finally come.
          Dew drops pop and hiss as they settle on the gliding guitarmonies.

          Once & Future Band have outdone themselves this time around, in my opinion. If songs could stop heated exchanges by mere presence, these are the ones, and more needed than ever.
          As I tuned in to each new transmission, each step closer to this perfect platter, I had to stop and do nothing else, and merely absorb how wonderful this album is. Each tune exists in the company it was born to live with. There are haunting chorale escorts here...long trains of room warmth... the belting of the machine heart...lofty guitar and bass melange... and just beautifully laid to magnetic tape with a sure hand by the throbbing brains that are Once & Future Band for fans of Roy Wood, Idle Race, ELO, Roxy Music, Head Hunters, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, The Lord Bowie, The Band, and the soundtrack from every movie that ever pierced your cold, cold heart”
          - John Dwyer.


          Mr. Elevator

          Goodbye Blue Sky

            “The drum clock is docking and the night tide washes up synthesized environments, woozy and recorded perfectly. In my humble opinion, Mr. Elevator has risen and ascended and risen again, top floor, time and space, he hath bended, and brain cells have been rent and spent, on the wing aloft and buoyant, a perfect rapid eye movement enhancer and neuromancer.“A capsule garden soundtrack, a killer live band, Leslie spinning a yarn through the melodious afternoon. Now its twilight, all is well: the most overweight bass soundsabound, the crystalline organs blanket breaks and backs, the whip crack of the snare is your guide here, its pretty fried and boundless in its approach.

            “For fans of Tangerine Dream, Air, Donovan (think the Hurdy Gurdy Man LP), The Troggs, Irmin Schmidt, Egg, Stereolab, and even early Mute records.” -John Dwyer.

            Nolan Potter's Nightmare Band

            Nightmare Forever

              “Nightmare in name only, the inspiration runs white-hot with this one—the wizard’s gaze cast over a distant landscape, bits of ash and motes of incinerated earth float in the air, the smell of ozone and fried metal sting the villager’s noses...“But hope’s bell rings eternal! A flower of beauty is standing up in the sole ray of sun, the clouds are withering away, retreating back to dark cloaks behind crusted-over frost-fractal windows. Darkness cannot usurp the crown, light is king and will eliminate the darkness, chase it out of the unfathomable corners and brush away the webs of evil...remnant factions will always remain but they will be hunted with pure magical riffage. “These are the peak and valleys of the mighty Nolan Potter’s Nightmare Band, conceptual in feel and flow, a lovely lilting ride and then, up through the floor boards, a warrior incants into the frothing night a huge band, heavy and tumultuous like a war machine rumbling thru the ash, clearing the way for folks to continue their idyll. Dreamy and lucid keys, strings, drum corps, slippery guitar and buff bass, ripe flutes and breezy vocals. For fans of Embryo, the Mothers, Pink Floyd, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Moody Blues, the Stark Reality, and Placebo. They’re from Austin, Texas, but you’d swear it’s from 1972 Europa-Mothership. Like their vodka, it surpasses expectations and fucking crushes.”

              —John Dwyer

              STAFF COMMENTS

              says: Jagged time signatures and soaring progressive melodies are wrought out of a solid core of momentous hypnotic guitar lines and a psychedelic soup of reverb and distortion. A (not surprisingly) off-kilter outing from the ever reliable Castle Face and a scintillating listen.

              Thee Oh Sees

              Dog Poison - Vinyl Reissue

                REISSUED!!! The beloved Dog Poison full-length record by THEE OH SEES, and boy, is this one a monster. More layered and textural than the previous Oh Sees releases while keeping all the typical JOHN DWYER punch, oomph and weirdness. Ten fantastic songs originally released by Captured Tracks in 2009. "If it were approached from a different angle, a song like album opener "The River Rushes (To Screw MD Over)" might not have sounded out of place on Dog Poison's predecessor. But by switching to an acoustic guitar and letting the flute player channel Ian Anderson, Thee Oh Sees give their sound a new wrinkle. Indeed, with Dwyer copping a few vocal moves from Mark E. Smith, "River" ends up sounding a little like the Fall covering the Kinks. There's another, purer, Kinks-like turn on Dog Poison, with the loping high-pitched tra-la-las of "The Sun Goes All Around" sounding like something left on the cutting room floor from Village Green Preservation Society. Elsewhere on the album, the group emulates the cavernous, smoky gait of Deerhunter ("Head of State"), shambles in a folkier fashion ("Fake Song"), spaces out a bit ("Dead Energy"), and mostly just lets it all hang out over the course of this LP's 24 minutes."—Pitchfork

                Mikey Young

                You Feelin' Me?

                  The path is finally revealed by a splash of light, and it is dazzling. You cover your eye bones with a claw and can make out a reflection of the perfect being There is a whiff of you in there. There is a bit of everyone in there. There are cars and bells and birds and fruits and water and night skies and laughter and heavy woe…motioning for you to dive in All things are in this ethos swirling in its core This album is the armored nucleus of sound and vision It carries you along on its lumbering back, it tosses you through space and pulls you down a hole A trip indeed Mikey Young can do no wrong in our eyes and he has held the door open for you again (a gentleman, as always) Listen up, the higher power music hour has cracked their mighty knuckles and laid down some deep trips for you to view the city swaying and swarming like a field of grass flecked with insect transport.

                  FOR FANS OF: Popul Vuh, A.R. & Machines, Vangelis, The Residents Sci-Fictitious working man’s factory songs Sweat-flicked neon-bending warehouses opening a box of light.

                  The Oh Sees

                  Graveblockers (Reissue)

                    Encased in a brown paper wrapping like a forgotten bit of smut from behind the beaded curtain, this unassuming disc is a time-capsule back to John Dwyer’s early SF days, janglingly fingerpicked wisps of melody and electronics baking in the all-too anemic sunshine of San Francisco’s elusive summer. Like a seashell to the ear, one can hear within it Baker Beach bike ride excursions, holding court and gently harassing passers-by on a Haight street stoop, and midnight rambles with friends from out of town, daring the sun to come up.

                    Somewhere chronologically between the folky whisper of Songs About Death And Dying and the recently reissued Cool Death Of Island Raiders, this one’s been vexing to find for way too long and Castle Face has decided to give it “the treatment”. May it awaken the gentle glow of possibility dappled with the dancing shadow of danger that it stirs around this castle.

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Much anticipated reissue of this low-key/lo-fi The(e) Oh Sees EP from 2006, now available on green vinyl. Don't snooze!

                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition green coloured vinyl with insert.

                    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                    Thee Oh Sees

                    Thee Hounds Of Foggy Notion - Reissue

                      “Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion / Live Performances Sans Stages And Whatnots With Thee Oh Sees (2008), is a film we made just over a decade ago, and this record is the soundtrack. I loved making it, and I love all that were involved. I’m honestly blissed-out proud to hear over the years that it somehow is loved by so many others, too. “I first met John Dwyer on Flag Day. I was blown away by a trio of roving Coachwhips guerrilla street shows that climaxed at the the scenic vista parking lot high above San Francisco atop Mt. Sutro. Amongst the gathered uninitiated hordes of souvenir sweatshirt selling families, and puzzled elderly global tourist translators, and a white weirdo tuxedo wedding party, was the sonic corruption of the Coachwhips...I’m certain that this exact event was the idea seed for Thee Hounds Of Foggy Notion, and that it saved my life a little bit. “When JPD asked me to consider making a video for Thee Oh Sees with the sole stipulation that he didn’t want to do anything fake-y to playback, my head started swimming. What we mutually agreed upon was to essentially reprise Flag Day, and film Thee Oh Sees performing live, but not on stages. “I rented a 15-passenger van, a generator, and the minimal cinematic equipment my trusted cinematographer friend James Wall deemed we needed. Everything sound wise was JPD territory and went through an ancient mixing board that Johnny had housed within a Samsonite suitcase. We ran all the plate mics from the drums, and the li’l pedestal mics from the amps through this old mixer, and we all believed that all would be well and swell.” — Brian Lee Hughes

                      Pow!

                      Shift

                        Just when we thought we knew what to expect from POW! they surprise us with a vigorous and rabid LPs worth of moody cybernetic punk that’s frankly their best yet. Their 4th is oil-dipped in a rainbowed slick of dread, yet the songs are buoyed by tight tunes that seem to have a lot of fun among the ruins of the future, dare I say with an eye to a less gloomy horizon? Melissa Blue’s sharp elbowed synths jostle with Byron Blum’s zap gun guitar in an ominous fog of oscillations, and yet somehow my toe is a-tapping. POW! got darker and more catchy at the same time, for which some credit is due to the excellent drumming of Cameron Allen and the fantastically future savvy production by Byron Blum & Tomas Dolas. Lots of sticky punk heart resin-layered in a futuristic-scanning bionic bop. For fans of Solid Space, Tubeway Army, The Units, The Screamers, and glittery black nail polish. 

                        The Oh Sees

                        The Cool Death Of Island Raiders (Reissue)

                          Announcing a reissue of The Oh Sees - The Cool Death of Island Raiders
                          We here at Castle Face are not afraid to get our shins dirty mucking around in the stacks and we’re well aware of an out-of-press gap of Oh Sees releases right before 2006 when we started the label with Sucks Blood. We’re rectifying that and first among these is The Cool Death of Island Raiders, a particularly dusty gem that we think merits another look.

                          Kicking off the record with what should have been the hit of the summer that year but for the hard C in the title, "The Gilded Cunt" seems to clearly preface Oh Sees’ later psych skewed pop sensibilities. At the time it was an obvious jam and I recall being floored by its shuffling beauty. Chirping birds, gently lapping tempos and the nascent harmonization of Bridgid Dawson and Dwyer detail what I consider to be a definitive highlight of their early quiet period of the band. The tree hangs heavy with Patrick Mullins’ handiwork, manning the musical saw, drums, and an assortment of home made electronics. It seemed a bit radical to be so quiet about it but the tunes are total earworms among the assorted drones, cut up bits of tape noise, and mellow front porch vibes, and the whole thing hangs together in a lovely hand-made way, helped in no small part by Dave Sitek’s production (he would later work on Master’s Bedroom as well). “

                          We flew Brigid out a fresh woman and literally sent her home on a plane with a trash bag of her clothes” says John. Evidently the whole record was accidentally erased at some point right around when the photo on the back of the jacket was taken, which makes it all the more remarkable that the result sounds so casually and confidently careworn. 

                          Crack the coffers, Oh Sees have spawned another frothy album of head-destroying psych-epics to grok and rock out to. Notice the fresh dollop of organ and keyboard prowess courtesy of Memory Of A Cut Off Head-alum and noted key-stabber Tom Dolas, while the Paul Quattrone / Dan Rincon drum-corps polyrhythmic pulse continues to astound and pound in equal measure, buttressed by the nimble fingered bottom end of Sir Tim Hellman the Brave and the shred-heaven fret frying of John Dwyer, whilst Lady Brigid Dawson again graces the wax with her harmonic gifts.

                          Aside from the familiar psych-scorch familiar to soggy pit denizens the world over, there’s a fresh heavy-prog vibe that fits like a worn-in jean jacket comfortably among hairpin metal turns and the familiar but no less horns-worthy guitar fireworks Dwyer’s made his calling card. Perhaps the most notable thing about Smote Destroyer is the artistic restlessness underpinning its flights of fancy. Dwyer refuses to repeat himself and for someone with such a hectic release schedule, that stretching of aesthetic borders and omnivorous appetite seems all the more superhuman!

                          LFZ

                          Name Plus Focus

                            A glistening field of sport / Mylar turf sucking up to the feet of the future athlete / No noise from the crowd / Hypoextinct brain waves peak at nominal levels / Mouths hang as they watch the rehearsed games unfold. “Across megalopolis / Handshakes between men and machine / Ply for future rations /Every man for himself that isn’t under the spell of the government’s mind whip / Signals wash out over haphazardly stacked neighborhoods as they sleep / Investing, convincing, planting memories / Fabrication of emotion. “And even farther still / Past the snicker-snack of the city’s air intake fans /A humming drone passes over the green grey canopy of the last forest / The no man’s land / Scanning for heat traces and human sound / Looking for the resistance with its red pin-prick eye. “In the moments between search and seizure / The rebels eat from the forest floor /They climb trees, they commune with the animals / They live life, they stare out to the ocean, past the shanty skyscrapers/ The last frontier. “Sean Smith soundtracks all these thoughts in my mind’s eye / His synth and guitar layered music is the signal / It is the force field, refracting light / It is the chemtrail drifting down like slow motion party glitter / From the heavens settling like moon flakes on the roofs of the cards / On the debris / On the upturned faces of the rabble. “It is beautiful imagination at its best.” - John Dwyer.

                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                            LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                            “When I was first told about Duds, it came with the considered opinion that the guys were far from what you’d call ‘careerists’. ‘They don’t take themselves too seriously’ was another comment. I could have taken this as a warning that they weren’t in it for the right reasons—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. From my perspective Duds simply won’t bend over backwards to ‘get on’. They do what they do and you can take it or leave it. I took it—with both hands…with a vice-like grip. They have the invention and urgency of Edinburgh legends The Fire Engines. The PostPunk ethic. Short songs, short sets = short album.

                            “They’re one of the most thrilling bands I’ve seen in years—and the fact that they’re releasing this brilliant piece of work on the Castle Face label adds the last piece of a perfect ‘outsider’ jigsaw puzzle. Duds sitting alongside Oh Sees, Ty Segall, White Fence, Useless Eaters, et al. There is a god!” —Marc Riley, June 2017

                            Male Gaze

                            Miss Taken

                              “Matt, Mark and Adam, aka Male Gaze, return quickly from the brainy roar of their previous album King Leer with their six heels hanging even further over the edge of the abyss. Good bands often pull punches but the great ones don’t and these charismatically scarred veterans of romance, gear singed from all too real firefights in the dark world of adulthood, lodge ten new slugs into your vest. Your life was spared but you’ll feel every second of the thirtyfive-plus minutes, grateful that all you got was a bruising. Imagine what it did to them! Have you ever flung yourself out there to such a degree that you risked total humiliation if it all went south, to where the next step would be self deportation to some distant island of annihilation in your mind? How did that work out for you? Don’t worry, Male Gaze knows and they wrote some songs about it. Look out your window, down at the glittering metropolis below and listen to this album.” - Henry Rollins.

                              Warm Soda

                              I Don't Wanna Grow Up

                                Within seconds of dropping the needle on I Don’t Wanna Grow Up one gets the feeling of being in good hands: an AP course in power-pop, delivered by Matthew Melton, with the confidence and consistency of your favorite late night diner. Familiarity works as a curious device — this is directly in Melton’s wheelhouse, no sonic surprises whatsoever, yet somehow these odes to teenage love and heartache are brand new, catchy and vital.

                                His twists and turns utilizing the same tools are astounding in their continued freshness. That this is the final Warm Soda record (in anticipation of his new band Dream Machine’s debut, also forthcoming on Castle Face Records) seems logical when you consider the way he’s re-written the same vibe into four excellent records of catchy pop. A lesser talent would have given up after two records, tops — Melton’s commitment to the platonic ideal of power pop again bears fruit, and perhaps this one is the best yet? Mix tape makers of the world, take note: if you leave this album out of your next amorous transmission, you’re fucking up.

                                When squirming black mold in a dingy Bayshore, CA, warehouse became sentient, creaked and took humanoid form it created Blank Square and their singularly oddpunk debut, Animal I — sounding like the weirder end of Flesheaters but with a sterility that can only be contemporarily compared to Total Control’s Aussie hardcore no-wave and then with a pinch of what made DNA and Mars amazing. This album is captured with plenty of concrete and sheet metal kept in the mix and a highlight towards dissonant syncopations, as if it was recorded in a empty room minus one chair and definitely down a flight of wet, cement stairs. Featuring saxophone with a mild but nauseating-at-times rippling slap delay, the band cruises on a rhythm section that sounds like the they’ve got another house show to play tonight after this one. Rectangular in all the right places, it’s uncomfortable, like sleeping in a car. For listeners who love art in their sax punk, reaching waaaay back into California’s punk history (SST would’ve undoubtedly dug this). There you go, weirdos.

                                POW! continue their danse macabre in the laser glow of hi-beam synthesizers, with a new batch of synth-punk candy that will rot your teeth: Crack An Egg. Vacuum-sealed, chrome gleaming, propulsion pounding, eyebrows arched and slightly pixelated, this album is like the cupie-doll face beckoning from a digital billboard outside your hovercraft window. From a none-too-distant dystopia and on to your turntable — VCFs slowly open across a smogged-out horizon as they urge you to take that “Necessary Call,” warn moodily against a “Cyberattack,” and inexplicably “Crack An Egg” in honor of the human race. Synthetic earworms squirm into and out of view like twinkling city lights through evening’s opaque air, feasting on terse punk skeletons. The neon is buffed to an aerosol sheen by Chris Woodhouse behind the blinking motherboards, with a streetlight or two of Gary Numan’s slanting through the door. The automatons know where the party’s at — follow them.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: Dusty synths meet with crackling vocals and VHS saturation. Pow! rip into the ozone layer with their jagged celestial melodies and trancey psychedelic rock. Half electronic, half direct rocking anthems, but brilliantly balanced throughout. A triumph of concept and execution.

                                From the same misty mountaintop tape spool as August’s A Weird Exits, Thee Oh Sees bring the companion album An Odd Entrances.

                                Delving more towards the contemplative than the faceskinning aspects of its predecessor, this sister album is a cosmic exercise en plein aire with John Dwyer and company double-drum shuffling, lounging with cellos, following a flute around the groove, and spooling a few Grimm-dark lullabies along the way. Lurking in the grass are a snake or two, like the celestial facing instrumental buzz of “Unwrap The Fiend Pt. 1.”…But for the most part this is a relatively hushed affair, a morning rather than evening listen.

                                The band plans on donating half their profits from the first pressing to Elizabeth House, a local charity in Pasadena that specifically helps homeless women with children get back on their feet.

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                says: If this forms the Yang to 'A Weird Exit's Ying, there is between them a fully realised and startlingly broad palette of skills. Where 'Weird Exits' brought the fire, this brings the sweet, sweet burn cream. Rhythms are more pronounced, the distortion is turned down a little but still forms a brilliantly nuanced and fantastically executed whole. Superb.

                                The white-hot set of Live In San Francisco not only features Feral Ohms’ shaggy guitar heroics captured directly to ferromagnetic medium for your grokking, but also happens to be their debut record. From zero to vertical from the get of the set, the ’Ohms muscle this one out fast and hot, featuring Ethan Miller of Howlin Rain, Comets On Fire and recent psych-folk breakouts Heron Oblivion.

                                Miller gives free rein to his most pyro-psycho-technic guitar fancies, not to mention a full-throated demon-worthy wail, with Chris Johnson on drums (previously of Drunk Horse and currently of Andy Human and the Reptoids) full MC5 style with freight train pummel, with rides so heavy in the mix it sounds like early Damned. Josh Haynes (of the unGoogle-able Nudity) is a total forehead smacker on bass as he bi-amps a filthy sound while wearing some weirdo humility leather strap face harness - it’s just dirty.
                                “Teenage God Born To Die” indeed. Expect great things from them and this concise set is just long enough to get a dander up for a proper full length, set for release on Ethan’s Silver Current label in 2017. In the meantime, keep an eye out for their live shows and don’t forget the ear plugs, they’ll singe your minge...

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                Emerging from the distant light is the new double-LP from John Dwyer’s Thee Oh Sees—the first studio recordings to capture the muscular rhythm section of twin drummers Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon with ringer bassist Tim Hellman cracking spines. The groove and bludgeon one has come to expect from the band’s live shows is captured seamlessly here—they go from zero to headsplitter, and on the rare occasions they do let up on the gas a bit, you’re treated to some locked-in hypnotizers, too. The guitar sounds more colossal and ethereal at the same time, riding roughshod over the vacuum- sealed rhythm section, spiraling skywards, and diving into the emerald depths so quick your guts tingle. Synths, strings and smokesoaked things crawl behind the scenes to make an extra far-out party platter, served on 45 RPM plates for most excellent listening quality. With amazing visuals (including a side-D etching by airbrush-vanart maestro Robert Beatty) and packed in vape-proof goatskin, it’s a beast and, come August 12th, it can be yours should you so choose.

                                Thee Oh Sees

                                Live In San Francisco

                                Perched in the belfry of The Chapel we caught thee mighty Oh Sees, alive and in their natural element, with our shutters aflutter and our
                                tapes on a roll. After a short incubation period, the beast has reached full maturity and it is hideous. Over three nights they pummeled, and we’ve culled some great photographs, a wicked recording, and even a little live video action.

                                Castle Face is happy to announce the first double LP in the Live in San Francisco series, presented on two discs, in a handsome double
                                gatefold jacket, with live video shot by Brian Lee Hughes and his crew of merry gentlemen on an included DVD. Finally you depraved
                                Oh Sees freaks have something to take home with you when you lose your shoes and your girlfriend at the show. Put it on at home and pretend to wait in line for the bathroom and it’s like you’re really there.
                                The thrash, the throb, the mob is all present and pushed to the front. Dual drummers synced in each ear, Tim Hellman rounding out the
                                bottom and Castle Face’s own John Dwyer up front on guitar, lasering young brains off and fomenting the crowd to a froth—it’s a great
                                band, in a great room, with a great crowd and it’s cooked to perfection…

                                Take a little bit of it with you this time.

                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                2xLtd LP Info: Vinyl includes DVD with live footage of the
                                show.

                                Weirdo-punk supergroup Male Gaze is back with nine new chunks of octave-pedal abuse and sultry croons with King Leer, their first proper long-player. This time around, the trio of Matt Jones (ex-Blasted Canyons), Mark Kaiser (ex-Mayyors), and Adam Cimino (ex-The Mall) have added former Blasted Canyons and Tiaras member Adam Finken on second guitar and resident Castle Face engineer Chris Woodhouse behind the boards to ramp up the skuzzpop of last year’s Gale Maze into brutal wall-of-sound territory.

                                “On King Leer, the boys toy with their poppier side, dosing the songs with syrupy melodies and some newfound heartfelt introspection, but they’re by no means going soft on us—these tracks, buried beneath mountains of fuzz and pounded out with Adderall-fueled fury, pack enough sonic punch to rattle your brain loose.” - Luca Cimarusti, Chicago Reader. 

                                Fans of early 90s Am Rep crunch will dig deep here!!

                                “Hermetically sealed punk broadcast from a bunker. This guitar is untying a knot of wires; vocals like watching a fight where two men exchange tit-for-tat face blows. Surgical drums; bass grown under glass. The occasional synthesizer like you didn’t know you were thirsty till water crossed your lips. Wound tight, lock-jawed; no rust on these gears. Chilly production crystallizes these post-apocalyptic poems from San Francisco.” - John Dwyer.

                                Deep Throats

                                Good Bad Pretty

                                  “I was a kid, I took mushrooms to help me ‘ease into things.’ It was a perfect SF night [circa 1999]—warm and dimly lit, shit-and-piss-smelling Clarion Alley. A band took the eye-level built-that-afternoon stage. I had peeked up gender-bent punk’s chicken-leather skirt and into eternity. How old were they? Who were they? How were they so fascinating? “They were blowing my young mind. I remember a show where, for some reason I can’t recall, but probably the cops had shut a party down, they got moved to a friend’s backyard down on 3rd Street. They played in front of a halogen work light on cement and somebody threw a bucket of yellow latex paint into the sky. The show was incredible and unstoppable (until the bikers next door called the cops and broke up the party). I’m not sure how I made it home but the next morning I woke up to strangers sleeping on my living room floor and yellow-paint footsteps covering my joint. I spent the next day gagging on my hands and knees scrubbing paint off the hardwood floor (even the shitty flats in SF have nice floors). Drugs, violence; general snottiness; elastic paranoid guitar; SRO drum kit; coke-bottle specs, sharp bass sounds. “An abstract guitar dance that still I can’t rip off without feeling guilty. Smirking medicated bass player whose heavy glasses slid down his sweating beak. Hot-as-hell and unapproachable drum master Sugar , whose boyfriend at the time I remember as like an extra from Warriors except he rode a BMX and was like 40...bad ass. Then there is Tracy —sneer lip stick smear, ripped stocking high heel in my eye. Tough as nails. Off the rails. A guitar as skinny as a knife, bent on pushing an ideal into your face hole. “I look back on these dark and aggressive times with much fondness. Now, here, we present to you the long-lost final Deep Throats recordings, Good Bad Pretty , on frosted, sugar-injected vinyl. Dig in, kids.” - John Dwyer.

                                  Announcing a totally far-out split release from unexpected corners: fave Hoosier-via-SF tripper transplants Burnt Ones sweet-talked the one and only Space Lady into a sharing an album, and the results are magical. In her inimitable style The Space Lady sparkles through “Across the Universe,” “Starman,” a brand-new original called “The Next Right Thing” and an achingly elegaic “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” These beautiful tunes are wonderful additions to her lovely repertoire.

                                  For their half, Burnt Ones mellow down their sound, crafting a warm cocoon on two kaliedoscopic creepers, peaking just a little with a floweringly spaced-out version of the Space Lady’s greatest hit, “Synthesize Me,” and closing with another druggy lullaby. It’s sweet and mellow ride through both sides and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

                                  “These were carefree times. We were young enough to put our bodies to the test every night on the seven-by-seven-mile patch of the Bay. The endless wars seemed less at home. Songs were hanging off the branches heavy, plump and threatening to rot on the vine if they weren’t polished and put to tape.

                                  The band was on their third live drummer but the lineup in The Fresh & Onlys’ recording tower was a consistent group of pop soldiers writing, working and whiling away the hours. A beeramid of cheap cans, endless dope smokery and a pretty strong vibe of dudes who would play together into oblivion. 388 rolling, tape spilling over itself, drum kit covered in mufflers, a chest of shitty percussion toys, lots of ideas and multiple secret weapons at their disposal.

                                  “Shayde Sartin: the beast from out east, the thud of a heavy slow bomb… the best bass player in the Bay. Unaccredited infinite times on records that were made better by his finely crafted skills. I can pick him out on records instantly.

                                  “Wymond ‘The Count’: you can almost smell his hair on his hooks. If there was a stage monitor in your living room his fence-climber boot would be on it. Wymond always has the riff that made the jets of the song take off. Listen and you’ll see what I mean.

                                  “Tim Cohen: the man behind the beard. Some would say the leader. In the game as long as Bette Midler. Cohen writes great songs in his sleep, I think. Once referred to by a buddy as ‘like three weirdos in one.’

                                  “Think of these as basement tapes, a companion to the first Fresh & Onlys Castle Face release (which itself deserves another listen). I remember watching some of these tunes get banged out live in a sweat pit in Oakland. The sound guy so gacked out that there was no sound guy, basically.” - John Dwyer, February 16th, 2015.

                                  “A fog of memories caught in the sun-flakes settling in the forest, a beautiful album indeed... [M]any glittering gems [are] woven into these tunes but one listen is not enough to see them all. Like trying to appreciate the silver strobing of ocean waves, they are different every time you glance at them. Better to watch their reflections on the ceiling and just soak it up.

                                  “It seems kind of rare that an album can create and sustain a mood, not to mention such an odd and unique vibe as this. A sing-song tale of a long, surreal journey through canopied pathways, tunnels and spiraling downwards through the earth’s maw…falling, falling, falling and suddenly you wake in your bed. Home-grown in aesthetic, Mirror Woods is a quilt of hues... The colors, albeit gorgeous, are cross-processed, like a polaroid of a cathedral’s most glorious stained glass window: off, slightly sour but just dripping with pop sentiment. This is not an experimental album for young chin-scratchers only, this is a pop record for anyone with a heart; this is a homage to love, to friends and family, to droll existence. Hold up a torch to the dark, make a spark.

                                  “Think United States of America meets Vangelis meets July meets Silver Apples in Arthur Russell’s New York apartment (what a family band portrait that would be).” - John Dwyer.

                                  John Dwyer has a surprise… While everyone eagerly anticipates the next Oh Sees record, he’s been working tirelessly in his synth laboratory, hand-crafting a followup to last year’s neon-noir Damaged Bug debut - one that shakes up the snow globe considerably.

                                  If 'Hubba Bubba' was a brush with a robotic exoskeleton on deep-space patrol, 'Cold Hot Plumbs' visits the alien world that sent it into the cosmos. Lush, textural and psychedelic, the songs breathe with a otherworldly sadness and heart. Barbed, sophisticated arrangements flower in every direction. The vintage-perfect sound palette would be window dressing if not for the songs themselves: fresh, vital, and above all catchier than the flu. 'Cold Hot Plumbs' is a strange, beautiful, and oddly infectious addition to Dwyer’s oeuvre, and not one to be missed.

                                  Thee Oh Sees

                                  Mutilator Defeated At Last

                                  Here we have a new batch from Thee Oh Sees for your absorption - nine muscular tunes primed to pummel. Last year’s Drop was more schizophrenic, ranging from heavy to whimsical and back - Mutilator Defeated At Last has more in common with the monolithic hugeness of Floating Coffin - with only two slight reprieves in heaviness this is a record made to be played loudly and that demands bodily sacrifice inherently.

                                  Despite the plutonium heavy feel, Thee Oh Sees continue to be omnivorous - synths and acoustic guitars expertly wind their way throughout like veins of gold through granite - any and all that stands in its way will be devoured and assimilated. This is the sound of a band doing what they do best, and it’s out on Castle Face Records.

                                  “I believe Destruction Unit to be one of the most important underground bands in America. The live shows vary from dense chaos to dumbstruck pandemonium. The volume is always colossal. The spectacle, dramatic. “Putting microphones on these Arizona weirdos is similar to trying to get a decent recording of a soccer riot-getting Ryan [Rousseau] to sing into our microphone like shooting a hummingbird with a spitball from across a gorge… but we’ve done it. Polished up and pushing the red, we present this deathless comet captured to tape. Headphones on, lowlights flickering, spliff in hand-you are a warrior on the dawn of a new perilous passage…until you have to flip the LP. Enjoy.” - John Dwyer.

                                  On the tail of their breakout second LP Midnight Passenger, Memphis-based punk cyclone Ex-Cult delivers a brand new batch of bruisers. Chris Shaw lends a sneering, spitting toughness to the proceedings while the band flays riffs in loose, hairy, mosh-inducing menace behind him, touching on post-punk, psych sprawl and early-’80s hardcore while remaining beholden to none. They have the power to convert even the most jaded and bored concertgoer into a sweaty mess in the pit. Punks, skate rats, scenesters, skinheads, hardcore kids, druggies-so many disparate groups dig this band it’s like an MRR cartoon waiting to happen. The adrenal-enhancers on Cigarette Machine are road warriors already, having been honed on the band’s recent tour that no doubt laid waste to a town nearby. The only problem with this sterling batch of sluggers is that it’s over too quick.

                                  By now you should know what you’re in for here: an eardrum-toasting take to tape of the mighty Ty Segall Band, captured during two nights in San Francisco at the barely-pushing-medium-sized venue The Rickshaw Stop. Rowdy crowd, meet stacks of amplifiers—Ty, Charlie, Mikal and Emily came to singe your ears off. There have been live recordings of Ty before, of course, but never so crisply and fully realized as this scorching platter of fuzz.

                                  As always, the cover artwork showcases beautiful black and white photos shot to film at the venue by Castle Face’s favorite lensman Brian Pritchard. As always, the tape takes are tweaked and saturated to perfection by their incredible crack team of engineers and knobgoblins. Live in San Francisco features jams from throughout Mr. Segall’s torrential output of the past few years, including a take of the first single “Feel” off his great new record Manipulator. It’s the next best thing to getting in to the show, which is getting harder and harder with Ty these days…

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Cut from the cloth of early Soft Machine and Kevin Ayersisms, garagearray is a lofty, loopy flight in a candy-flossclouded sky, with an ever-present darkness just below the surface. It’s wonderfully off the cuff, at times reminiscent of a Syd Barrett session where the band must’ve just closed their eyes and felt it out in the dark, coming together in all the right moments in the nick of time.

                                  For 'Garagearray', Dylan Shearer is joined by Petey Dammit (Thee Oh Sees) on bass and Noel von Harmonson (Comets on Fire) on drums. Produced by Eric Bauer (Ty Segall, Mikal Cronin, etc.), the recording maintains a lighter-than-life vibration, like a breeze weaving through a tree far overhead. The production smacks with that lostin- time quality of a BBC session piloted by a natural-onthe- knobs genius. Shearer has a sort of shy quality that seems to fall away when he sings these songs live. It’s really quite lovely and full of sad and poetic moments.

                                  Castle Face is very proud to co-release garagearray with Empty Cellar Records, and to celebrate the occasion, the labels have come up with two special limited, hand-printed jacket / colored vinyl editions featuring artwork by Michael Sean Coleman.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  Our lad John P. Dwyer has been lancing eardrums with Thee Oh Sees in an ever-escalating flurry of records for the past six years. Since the release of The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In announced a new loud era (and excepting a few momentary detours into home-baked territory - Dog Poison and Castlemania, for example), Dwyer and company have pummelled a bit harder each time out, cementing their reputation as a live force to be reckoned with and leaving legions sweaty and bruised in the process. Late last year, after years of relentlessly touring the world, the word got out… Dwyer’s moving to Los Angeles (fear not, still California!) and Thee Oh Sees are taking a much-needed hiatus with a shifting of gears ahead and a new album on the way. This is that album.

                                  Drop was recorded in a banana-ripening warehouse (no joke) with hair-farming studio warlock Chris Woodhouse playing drums; it’s also graced with the presence of talented gurus Mikal Cronin, Greer McGettrick and Casafis adding horns and vocals. The result pushes the familiar polarities of the group farther outward than ever before. Opener “Penetrating Eye” might be the heaviest Oh Sees song yet, “Transparent World” and “Put Some Reverb On My Brother” foam with seasick fuzz, and yet the ballads, like the harpsichorded “King’s Nose” and the lush and stately closer “The Lens,” extend their oeuvre into mellotronic, far-out pop with delicacy and grace.

                                  This schizophrenia heralds the man and the band into an unseen future in classic Dwyer fashion - restless energy harnessed into exquisitely crafted jams, with an emphasis on the pensive and the paranoid in turns.

                                  Burnt Ones have been Castle Face favorites for years, and last year’s You’ll Never Walk Alone on Burger was the one for which they kicked themelves repeatedly for not getting to first.

                                  The label is very honored to present their third record, Gift. Far more psychedelic than their previous work, the album may be a bit of a surprise to fans on first listen. A potent blend of wide-eyed strummers on shifting sands is punctuated by blinking oscillators, left turns into wispy sound collage and tape manipulations, drug-rug-wrapped lushness and telephone whispers from a supremely stoned sounding Mark Tester, the guide through this cultish and vaguely sinister headphone-scape. It’s a woozy and a woolly one.

                                  Trin Tran: The one-man band without a plan, hurtling through the songiverse without a map or compass. For years now, Trin Tran has been creeping out from deep space (America’s Midwest) and bouncing songs off satellites. These transmissions are a testament to his lovely weirdness. This new EP is an injection of strange-pop—less garage than his recent full-length on Ty Segall’s imprint God? Records and more the bastard child of Duran Duran and Bruce Haack.

                                  Riskier vocal delivery, heavier synths. Stronger, swifter, silver-er. Mute Records would have licked their glossy lips over this meal in the early ’80s. Recorded by Eric Landmark of San Francisco scrapsynth alums Numbers and Ricky Reimer of Madison, WI, angularities Transformer Lootbag, mixed and mastered by John Dietrich of Deerhoof, Far Reaches truly harkens from the 6th Dimension. It’s a new era for the mask and its one-man armada.

                                  Announcing The Traps’ Boom Pow Awesome Wow: Another grimy bit of gold from the vaults; “home made” music from Providence, RI, to irk your co-workers with. When you hear the word “garage,” does it make you want to leave the room? I can relate. Beaten over the head, we’ve been. The horse that was once merely dead is now paste on the linoleum. Garage songs sell cars. Needless to say, The Traps would be last on the list for ad men’s fancy. Sometimes you see or hear something that is so completely the raw ingredient of what was once great in your life that it stands out…or in this case, hunches over with a thread of saliva from its chin to its knee.

                                  This is The Traps:
                                  • From Providence, Rhode Island, circa 2003-2004
                                  • Very, very heavy
                                  • Very, very simple
                                  • Recorded in an unwaveringly carefree manner

                                  • Three young men: Two very mellow dudes playing guitars thru towers of fried amplification, one very loud dude from Illinois playing what sounds like a bass drum and a 40-inch ride cymbal Coachwhips played with them, then I came home and tried to rip them off, but I wasn’t man enough to fit these balls in the front seat. Castle Face has collected their six tracks from a CDR-only EP as well as four tracks pulled from a dusty box of cassettes by yours truly. Spit-shined in mastering and with all-new original artwork by Dusty Petersen, Boom Pow Awesome Wow is the perfect antidote to the G-word selling more yet meaning less. - John Dwyer.

                                  A collection of unearthed demos and repolished old tracks, out September 24th on Castle Face Records Featuring original artwork by Shalo P

                                  No one sounds like The Herms.
                                  No one sounds like Matthew Lutz.

                                  The Herms are a smudged window into a neighboring dimension to ours, Berkeley. Even though it's right next door to Oakland and San Francisco, it may as well be a million musical-miles away. Back when they were playing around town, it felt to me like not too many in my scene "got" this band. I thought people should have been going crazy for these guys. The local rag gave them accolades (a curse perhaps?), and even a cursory listen to this collection should clue you in to how great they were. This may be one of the few times that I have to concur with a music writer - this band is amazing. They are sun, heartbreak, pop and fried-static all in one master package, evolving from song to song, and I think they're fantastic.

                                  The Herms did have a proper release years ago, but on CD only (gasp!) and frankly I've always been in love with these earlier, rawer 8 track Tascam demos. They sound like the band did when you were standing in front of them. I love The Herms and have been waiting a looooong time to do a proper release for them. Sorry it took exhuming their songs from the grave before I was ready. Please listen loudly with the windows open, so maybe that music writer may pass by, hear it and think, "Finally! I told you so, you assholes". John Dwyer 7-10-13.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                  "The year was 1996 (a guess really), when I had LA MACHINE play in our Olneyville warehouse space. It was the first time I danced in front of other people. (I was later told I was really good). I think maybe it was the first time I can recall where I stood in front of something I would consider modern psychedelic music. Not a rehash of some ghost from the past but something new to me.

                                  We had a plethora of hardcore, improv, and noise bands in New England... but this... this was something different. It was churning and it had a haunting floor-scraping ass on it. It had hints of nausea and a cyclic simplicity that to this day I still love and listen to often. Loudly, stoned, driving through the desert, laughing. They played and my friends skated the quarter pipe my flate mate had built...it was my first successful party and I thank La Machine for it.

                                  RICK PELLTIER and JOHN LOPER have compiled these tunes for us to release post-mortem, but who knows...maybe they will come back to haunt a warehouse near you...OoOoOoOH. Every song reminds me of when I was younger, stronger, and faster. But now I know enough to realize how lucky I actually was to have this stuff around me. And now you can too. Enjoy." -John Dwyer (4.30.13).

                                  Lovingly remastered from the original cassette with new original art by WILLIAM KEIHN.

                                  Perhaps you've heard of the trajectory our beloved friend Greer McGettrick and her cohorts in The Mallard have traced across the current musical landscape…a promisingly home-baked debut full of twists and turns that nonetheless felt of the time and lived in…tours and tours and tours…songs on splits and compilations, including both Son Of Flex and our covers record of The Velvet Underground and Nico…shifting band members and band members shifting instruments…the now infamous Noise Pop performance where they played as Throbbing Gristle at one of the oldest and most venerated venues in San Francisco, The Great American Music Hall, to a thoroughly bewildered audience…all the while getting faster darker and sharper…and after coming back from SXSW, the sudden dissolution - with an album finished, and already being printed and pressed with us, their now-swan song Finding Meaning In Deference.

                                  It's a conversation interrupted to be sure, but one that you should be listening in on. There's an unapologetic maelstrom of dark energy simmering beneath the surface of these tunes, but it never subsumes some of the group's best songwriting efforts yet. The myriad guitar/vocal interplay is sharp as ever, the pissed-off is turned up to 10, but there's an ever-present bop and hook to even the most bummed-out tunes here. If you never got to see them, I'm sorry - but this record catches them in excellent form at the zenith of their powers, a guitar somehow hung from the rafters for the rest of eternity - we're sad to see them go, but thrilled to share this excellent record with the world.


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