by Karoline Anderson
Thee Ohsees’ latest release, Sucks Blood, is a supreme indie record to the fullest. Riffs of folk and psychedelic pop shuffled between Brigid Dawson’s soft and cozy vocals are like back at the ranch with the Breeders--a flawless wreck of distorted and slicing guitar chords matched with airy and affectionate lyrics. Thee Ohsees were originally known as “OCS” led by John Dwyer (guitar, vocals); and have released several albums this decade, but since officially converting to the “Ohsees” have evolved into a well-established band with long-term members and more effectively produced music. Sucks Blood--although unlike any I had heard before--was both incredibly fulfilling, as well as painful… literally.
Sucks Blood is a slim 34-minute piece packed with 12 individual tracks. The initial track is luring and seductive with hip bouncing tambourine beats that strut slowly into the succeeding track. The songs are simple and delicate--taking their time to sample melodies and, such as in “Iceberg,” institute dreamy and playful vocal patterns that intrigue and tease the listener. Suddenly, however, mid-album, loud and volatile sounds barrel through the speakers for an unnerving minute and a half. I felt like Alex De Large in A Clockwork Orange--tortured and tormented with music--except instead of Beethoven’s Ninth, Sucks Blood was spewing reckless shrieking and white noise. Similar sounds picked up at the end of the seventh track and made appearances through the rest of the album. Thanks Ohsees. If it wasn’t for your crisp guitars and wooing vocals, I may have returned my half of the friendship bracelet.
In the end, Thee Ohsees self-characterized “goo-rock” is, album by album, evolving into a unique indie masterpiece with a lot of bite.
More on Thee Ohsees: www.myspace.com/ohsees.