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OH SEES

If you've followed the San Francisco underground for the past ten years, you might already be familiar with John Dwyer. Or — tastes depending — you might not know him at all. A friend and devotee of pre-eminent Providence noise rock act Lightning Bolt, the majority of Dwyer's repertoire falls on the indie spectrum's more visceral wavelengths. He was Pink in Pink and Brown, fronted Coachwhips, and played guitar in the dysfunctional Hospitals. Formed in the wake of his more volatile commitments, Thee Oh Sees started as an extension of Dwyer's softer side. Their early recordings were somber and beautiful. Last year, Thee Oh Sees made an unexpected turn, delivering their wildest, weirdest, hardest rocking record yet with "The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In". Now Thee Oh Sees have followed it with an even wilder, more hard-rocking record, "Help". Recorded by Chris Woodhouse (the A-Frames, Mayyors), "Help" draws straight, dark lines to both the British psychedelic rock of bands like The Creation and the caveman thud of The Troggs while a Cramps-like appreciation for rockabilly lies not far below. The album weaves Dwyer's signature AM radio howl with the catchiest of driving tunes, Brigid Dawson's gorgeous harmonies, heightened fidelity, thick spring-reverbed bombast, mighty drums, and an undeniable pull. The result is a sound somewhere beyond nostalgia, beyond the garage, beyond the fireside song and supposed goo-rock. Modern rock'n'roll records don't come much better than this and Thee Oh Sees are one of the best bands going.

Thee Oh Sees

Live In San Francisco - 2022 Reissue

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.

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.

TRACK LISTING

1. I Come From The Mountain
2. The Dream
3. Tunnel Time
4. Tidal Wave
5. Web
6. Man In A Suitcase
7. Toe Cutter Thumb Buster
8. Withered Hand
9. Sticky Hulks
10. Gelatinous Cube
11. Contraption

What’s the first thing you think of when someone mentions Thee Oh Sees? Probably their riot-sparking live show, right? Visions of a guitar-chewing, melody-maiming John Dwyer careening across your cranium, rounded out by a wild-eyed wrecking crew that drives every last hook home like it’s a nail in the coffin of what you thought it meant to make 21st-century rock ’n’ roll?

Yeah, that sounds about right. But it misses a more important point—how impossible Thee Oh Sees have been to pin down since Dwyer launched the project 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, thirteen-minute title track of 2010’s Warm Slime LP to the mercurial moods of 2008’s The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In.

Now, Thee Oh Sees chase the home-brewed symphonies of Castlemania with the scrappy, high-wire hooks of Carrion 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 one blasts the slow, speaker-bruising build of “The Dream,” the sunburnt organs and dovetailing guitars of “Crack in Your Eye” or the interstellar instrumental “Chem-Farmer,” a perfect example of what happens when one takes a well-oiled machine—a gang of rabid road warriors, really—and adds 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 5:00 in the morning. Or, as Dwyer puts it, “You have to leave a mark somehow.”


TRACK LISTING

01. Carrion Crawler
02. Contraption/Soul Desert
03. Robber Barons
04. Chem-Farmer
05. Opposition
06. The Dream
07. Wrong Idea
08.Crushed Grasss
09. Crack In Your Eye
10. Heavy Doctor

San Francisco’s incredibly prolific Thee Oh Sees are back with another full-length album of original tracks plus a smattering of covers. While the group’s previous releases on In The Red, "Help" and "Warm Slime", showcase their amped-up, reverb-drenched garage-psych pummel, on "Castlemania", John Dwyer and company take a more low-key approach. Dwyer himself describes "Castlemania" as 'summer-y and poppy'; on many of the tracks, electric guitars are jettisoned for acoustic, and the normally echo-laden vocals are a bit clearer. Happy pop melodies, sweet and sombre tunes, psychedelic moves galore, cover versions of The Creation and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, and at least one garage stomper all rub elbows on Thee Oh Sees’ 'sunshine pop' album.

Its release couldn’t be more perfectly suited to the time of the year when the sunny skies return and the flowers start blooming. Watch for Thee Oh Sees to return later this year with another full-length of pulverizing, heavy stomp. In the meantime, relax and enjoy "Castlemania".


TRACK LISTING

1. I Need Seed
2. Corprophagist (A Bath Perhaps)
3. Stinking Cloud
4. Corrupted Coffin
5. Pleasure Blimp
6. A Wall, A Century
7. Spider Cider
8. The Whipping Continues
9. Blood On The Deck
10. Castlemania
11. AA Warm Breeze
12. Idea For Rubber Dog
13. The Horse Was Lost
14. I Won’t Hurt You (by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band)
15. If I Stay Too Long (by Big Wheel)
16. What Are We Craving? (by Norma Tanega)

Thee Oh Sees

Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In - 2021 Repress

    Thee Oh Sees (OCS) began as songwriter / singer / guitarist John Dwyer's outlet for the experimental instrumentals he was producing in his home studio. Dwyer, who hails from Providence, RI, has been active on the San Francisco indie scene since the late '90s, working with The Coachwhips, Hospitals, Pink & Brown, Yikes, Dig That Body Up It's Alive, and Swords & Sandals, among others. He formed OCS (which is an acronym for Orinoka Crash Suite, Orange County Sound, or whatever Dwyer decided on any given day) to release a string of soundscapes and moody pieces that were decidedly lower key than his previous projects. In time, OCS morphed into an actual band, working under a flurry of names (most notably the Oh Sees or the Ohsees) and eventually settling on Thee Oh Sees. Sounding a bit like The Mamas & The Papas run through a seriously bent garage blender, this line-up features Dwyer on guitar and vocals, Brigid Dawson on vocals and tambourine, Petey Dammit on bass, and Mike Shoun on drums.

    The band signed with the German Tomlab label and released The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In in 2008. This record marked the first recorded appearance of the newly harder rocking version of the band and was immediately met with an enthusiastic response by fans and rock scribes. It went out of print after its initial pressing sold out quickly, and In The Red is pleased to announce the re-release of this incredible album on vinyl. Music like this is best enjoyed when spun on a turntable, and the gorgeous cover art can only be properly appreciated at 12 inches by 12 inches.

    "A simulacrum of 1960s Bay Area psychedelics without the marathon solos, in its own way, Master's Bedroom can be as hypnotic and mesmeric as any drone album." - Pitchfork.

    The Oh Sees

    Sucks Blood - Reissue

      Long overdue vinyl repress of the sixth The Oh Sees album, and indeed, the first Castle Face release Yes! the sixth THE OH SEES album (from 2007!) and their first for their own label Castle Face. Now reissued on Black Vinyl for the first time in an age..has a DL included … . Produced by KELLEY STOLTZ using all green energy (no joke), the album serves as a half-way point between the band's Cool Death of the Island Raiders album and their most recent material. we got some right now, dig in!

      The newly shorn Oh Sees waste no time in racing headlong into nightmarish battle with the mighty Orc, and wouldn’t ya know it, they’ve clawed even farther up the ghastly peak last year’s A Weird Exits stormed so satisfyingly. The band is in tour-greased, anvil on a balance beam, gut-pleasingly heavy form, nimbly braining with equal dashes of abandon and menace on this fresh batch of bruisers and brooders, hypnotically stirred into to the cauldron of chaos you’ve come to expect from, ahem, Oh Sees. Fresh blood Paul Quattrone joins Dan Rincon to form a phalanx of interlocking double drums, alternately propelling and fleet footing shifting ground to pinion Dwyer’s cliff-face guitars to the boogie. Tim Hellman keeps it swinging like a battle-axe to the eyebrows. The tunes veer towards the violence of their live shows, with a few tasty swerves into other lanes… heavy to lush, groovy to stately… throughout it remains sinister in its swaggering skulk, manic in its fuzz-fried fugues… they hit all the sweet spots the heads foggily remember, and there’s plenty to sweat over if you just hopped into the sauna. Ew. More evil…more complex… more narcotic… more screech…. more blare…. more whisper… there’s even more Brigid. Less “Thee”, but more of everything else.

      TRACK LISTING

      01 “The Static God”
      02 “Nite Expo”
      03 “Animated Violence”
      04 “Keys To The Castle”
      05 “Jettisoned”
      06 “Cadaver Dog”
      07 “Paranoise”
      08 “Cooling Tower”
      09 “Drowned Beast”
      10 “Raw Optics”

      John Dwyer and his Oh Sees (aka OCS) reissue the "Suck Blood" album on his own Castle Face imprint. Produced by Kelley Stoltz using all green energy (no joke), the album serves as a half-way point between the band's "Cool Death Of The Island Raiders" album and their most recent material. Thee Oh Sees are the underground punk rock of 2009!!

      TRACK LISTING

      1. It Killed Mom 02:42
      2. Sucks Blood 03:42
      3. Iceberg 02:58
      4. The Gouger 01:53
      5. You Make Me Sick, Oh Yeah 03:41
      6. [Untitled Drone #] 01:30
      7. The Killer 03:50
      8. Ship 02:42
      9. What The Driven Drink 02:05
      10. Invitation 03:14
      11. Golden Phones 03:30
      12. [Untitled Drone #2] 01:39

      Hey there, human kids,
      Lift your face out of the feed trough and pluck that feculence from your ears. Hark! A sonar blip from beneath the pile of bodies. Boop, blip ughhh….
      People churning like a boiling swamp. Man, this din is nauseating.
      The screen flickers for the first time this year with a transmission from two months in the future:
      “the internet has deemed guitar music dead and you are free to do whatever the fuck you like ….long live the new flesh!”

      This album is Soundcloud hip-hop reversed, a far flung nemesis of contemporary country and flaccid algorithmic pop-barf.
      No songs about money or love are floating in the ether.
      Just memories, echoes, foggy blurs
      Blip-blop goes the scope
      Heavy funk
      Dystopia-punk canons
      Lonnnnng jams
      Bloated solos dribbling down your caved-in chest.
      Human cattle like a beef avalanche, right on your burned out face hole.
      Spider legs fuzz crawling in your brain.
      Lots of curse words for your mom.
      You’ve gotten the over-population blues, so let’s have some art for art’s sake.
      What else are you gonna do?
      Stare at the sky? Please…
      50 carbon copies of you look back at you as you walk the streets.
      Take a breath, you’re going to need it.
      Take drugs, you’re going to need those just to stand in line at the air and water reclamation center soon enough.
      There’s no fruit, buddy.
      You’re at the bleak-peak.
      They will squeeze you till you’re all squeezed out.

      For fans of fried prog burn out, squished old-school drool, double drums, lead weight bass, wizard keys (now with poison), old-ass guitar and horrible words with daft meanings.
      If you don’t like it then don’t listen, bub.
      Back to the comments section with you!
      Easy
      Over and out

      - John Dwyer.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Obviously the Oh Sees had to release another album on the same week as their top competitors in the 'Who Can Write The Most Albums' game (it's a good one), and much like KG&tLW, they've smashed it once again. It's no surprise that Dwyer has formed a brilliantly heavy but perfectly nuanced mix of production perfection and instrumental devastation. Everything you'd imagine, and some stuff you probably wouldn't. Ace.

      TRACK LISTING

      The Daily Heavy
      The Experimenter
      Face Stabber
      Snickersnee
      Fu Xi
      Scutum & Scorpius
      Gholü
      Poisoned Stones
      Psy-Ops Dispatch
      S.S. Luker’s Mom
      Heartworm
      Together Tomorrow
      Captain Loosely
      Henchlock

      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!

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Sentient Oona
      2. Enrique El Cobrador
      3. C
      4. Overthrown
      5. Last Peace
      6. Moon Bog
      7. Anthemic Aggressor
      8. Abysmal Urn
      9. Nail House Needle Boys
      10. Flies Bump Against The Glass
      11. Beat Quest

      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.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Penetrating Eye
      2. Encrypted Bounce
      3. Savage Victory
      4. Put Some Reverb On My Brother
      5. Drop
      6. Camera (Queer Sound)
      7. King's Nose
      8. Transparent World
      9. The Lens

      What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Thee Oh Sees? Probably their riot-sparking live show, right? Visions of a guitar-chewing, speaker-smothering, tongue-wagging John Dwyer careening across your cranium, chased by a wild-eyed wrecking crew that drives every last hook home like it’s a nail in the coffin of what one thought it meant to make 21st century rock ’n’ roll?

      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. That restlessness extends to everything from the towering, thirteen-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 home-brewed symphonies of Castlemania and the high-wire hooks of Carrion Crawler / The Dream, which dropped a second drum set among sunburnt organs, dovetailing guitars and rail-jumping rhythms.

      If one prefers a slightly more subtle musical awakening, there’s always Putrifiers II, the latest in a long line of Oh Sees albums that expands the group’s sound well past your friendly neighborhood garage band. So while the space-odyssey nods of “Wax Face” actually sound like they’re meant to melt one’s ears straight off, the record’s full of deviant detours, from the poison-tipped string parts and Eno-esque engineering of “So Nice” to the groove-locked Krautrock inclinations of “Lupine Dominus.”

      The most noticeable element may be Dwyer’s melodies, however, as they reveal a softer side to his songwriting, one that makes perfect sense considering just how disparate his dust-clearing influences are. Scott Walker, The Velvet Underground, The Zombies and the experimental Japanese act Les Rallizes Denudes are but a small taste of what informed Thee Oh Sees this time around, as Dwyer returned to the multi-instrumental ways of Castlemania— full-band sessions for another record are already underway—and rounded out a fuller, drier sound with drummer / engineer Chris Woodhouse and special guests like Mikal Cronin (sax), Heidi Maureen Alexander (trumpet, vocals) and K Dylan Edrich (viola).

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Wax Face
      2. Hang A Picture
      3. So Nice
      4. Cloud #1
      5. Flood's New Light
      6. Putrifiers II
      7. Will We Be Scared?
      8. Lupine Dominus
      9. Goodnight Baby
      10. Wicked Park

      The first two volumes of singles and B-sides from Thee Oh Sees. Twenty-four songs, including the track “Tidal Wave” (featured in TV’s Breaking Bad), that run the gamut from very mellow stuff with strings to completely fried burners.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Carol Anne
      2. Inquiry Perpetrated
      3. Mincing Around The Frocks
      4. Kingsmeat
      5. The Freak Was Clean
      6. Kids In Cars
      7. Bloody Water
      8. Hey Buddy (Aaron Aites Cover)
      9. Comas (Aaron Aites Cover)
      10. I Agree
      11. Grave Blockers
      12. Tidal Wave
      13. Heart Sweats
      14. Contraption (Demo)
      15. Friends Defined
      16. Blood In Your Ear
      17. Schwag Rifles
      18. The Drag (Ty Segall Cover)
      19. 7484
      20. Castiatic Tackle (Demo)
      21. She Said To Me
      22. Where People Do Drugs
      23. In The Shadow Of Giants
      24. Ichor


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