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OSees - Protean Threat (Album Review)

Tuesday, 22 September 2020 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Titouan Massė

‘Protean Threat’ finds John Dwyer’s gang of garage-skronkers returning with their signature brand of anarchic chutzpah. ‘Protean Threat’, released under the slightly revised name Osees, is a record of varied textures, tones and tempos that grabs you by the lapels and shouts in your face.

There is lots to get your teeth into. The band’s previous two albums (they have released about 5000) took us on a bit of a psych-rock odyssey, with songs that could have been unstructured jam sessions had they not suddenly diverted into different time signatures and chord structures.

Here that process is condensed to around three minutes per track. One example is Said the Shovel, which poses as a tricksy groover before descending into ghastly fairground refrains.

Similarly, Mizmuth opens with some familiar Dwyer fuzz guitar, and then develops into a kind of freak party tune, recalling early Frank Zappa or, at a push, Os Mutantes.

One of the most distinctive qualities to Osees, and one that makes them one of the best bands currently working in America, is their reckless energy and abandon combined with intense musicality and imagination. 

It actually recalls some of the music that At the Drive-In and the Mars Volta recorded around the turn of the century: music so dense and occasionally overwritten that you need about 10 listens to decode it. 

‘Protean Threat’ is not Osees’ best work, but it’s still a hell of a lot more interesting than most records coming out this week. It also shows a band that are brimming over with ideas, and while none of the tracks are eternally memorable, it remains an exercise in high quality music making.

Oh Sees Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu November 05 2020 - BRISTOL SWX
Fri November 06 2020 - BIRMINGHAM Crossing
Sat November 07 2020 - GLASGOW SWG3
Sun November 08 2020 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Mon November 09 2020 - DUBLIN Button Factory
Wed November 11 2020 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Fri November 13 2020 - BRIGHTON Chalk, Brighton
Sun November 15 2020 - CAMBRIDGE Junction 1
Mon November 16 2020 - LONDON Electric Ballroom
Tue November 17 2020 - LONDON Electric Ballroom

Click here to compare & buy Oh Sees Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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