ALBUM REVIEW: Oh Sees Look Back for Once on ‘Face Stabber’

John Dwyer weaves together the many threads of his past.

If you’ve ever wondered what it sounds like to sample a squeaking rubber ducky, well, Oh Sees are here to show you. On their 22nd album, Face Stabber, John Dwyer’s constantly evolving psych outfit (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, The Oh Sees, The Ohsees, OCS, Orange County Sound, Orinoka Crash Suite…)  takes you back to a playground of experimental sounds and noise.  

One of the things that makes a good band great is when they have their own identifiable sound. And when you hear a guitar riff, a drum beat or a bass line, you instantly know you’re listening to an Oh Sees record (even if you’re never entirely certain what they’re currently called). 

Face Stabber is an album where it seems like Dwyer has grasped all of the musical threads of his past albums and woven them into one. It’s garage punk meets psych rock meets avant garde, and it makes me dream away to the old days of Mars Volta. 

They really do push the limit, and seriously how much further can they go? But this makes you constantly want to skip to the next track to hear what’s next in this magical universe. 

I really do love Oh Sees—and there’s no doubt this band is filled with some highly talented, deeply inspired musicians—but I don’t think that this album quite reaches the heights of some of their more epic records like Castlemania, Putrifiers ll and Smote Reverser.

At 80 minutes long, this album is great to put on if you have some serious time to burn, but I wouldn’t put it on while driving or at a party.

Score: 🛁🛁🛁.5 / 5

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