- by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2016-08-12 Label: Castle Face
Thee Oh Sees, or more appropriately, John Dwyer’s current band of garage-psych rockers, are if nothing, prolific. 17 albums since 2003 and I can’t keep up with all of them. But Dwyer is a manic, stellar song writer who consistently releases never a dull moment alternative noise. My first experience with the band I thought John Dwyer was some ADD brother of Tom Morello, with that high held guitar and looney-fast fretting, but make no mistake about it, John Dwyer is a craftsmen and a great guitar player.
A Weird Exits, as awkward as the title is, continues Dwyer’s not wanting to settle into any one solitary genre. A little melody, degenerating into speed metal, and back to temporary melody, I’ve always enjoyed their sound and the opening tracks, ‘Dead Man’s Gun’ and ‘Ticklish Warrior’ establish their brand of dystopian garage-rock as nicely as any of their albums.
But don’t settle in too far. Even though Dwyer’s guitar spasms get even further fuel from two drummers, and the industrial titles like ‘Gelatinous Cube’ and ‘Plastic Plant’ blissfully have John Dwyer at the top of his electro meets sonic frets approach, the album abruptly shifts to ambient electronics and slows to a monster whimpering on the longest track, ‘Crawl Out from the Fall Out.’ And by God, it still works.
There are only a handful of artists capable of taking their listeners in any direction they damn well please and still getting them to go along, but John Dwyer is one of them. A Weird Exits is a creatively explosive album of musical steam punk. Whether John is orchestrating speeded up madness, or slowed down psych-fueled new age, it all stays with you until you start it all again. One of the best albums of 2016.