Thee Oh Sees – Drop

Castle Face Records

Thanks to a pile of breakup rumours fans of Thee Oh Sees have been on quite the ride recently with questions of will they stay or will they go lingering at the back of the brain. Well if you needed more proof that it is indeed business as usual for John Dwyer and his Oh Sees we now have Drop the latest full-length from the ever-prolific San Francisco garage-punk outfit.

Like many of the group’s recent records Drop finds Dwyer and his band of musical miscreants branching out while remaining distinctly Thee Oh Sees. On one hand this is Thee Oh Sees sounding their downright heaviest such as on the crushing opener “Penetrating Eye” or the sonic mind fuck “Transparent World” but it’s also their most purposely psych-pop record yet. Instead of all angsty piss and vinegar the group embraces a smoother warmer sound full of kaleidoscopic Mellotron trip-outs (“King’s Nose”) horn-honking rave-ups (“Put Some Reverb on My Brother”) and strings-fitted ballads (“The Lens”). It’s a more adult-sounding Thee Oh Sees to be sure but not so much as to alienate the faithful.

The chances of Drop becoming Thee Oh Sees’ swan song feel slim at best. But if it was it wouldn’t be a bad way to cap off such a long and illustrious career.