Oh Sees: Orc (Castle Face) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, February 27th, 2024  

Issue #61 - Grizzly Bear


Castle Face

Aug 28, 2017 Oh Sees Bookmark and Share

Oh Sees? Thee Oh Sees? Orange County Sound? Oh, well. More recycled Roky Erickson-isms and smoky garage-rock riffs pollute the ears along with the most odious proggy lyrics this side of Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Ambivalent name changes aside, Orc, the band’s latest offering, binges on Tolkien fantasy with exhaustive tracks such as “Drowned Beast” and “Cadaver Dog,” the former featuring an attack on a monster by a hungry crowdthe sound of the apocalypse at a Magic: The Gathering tournament.

“Keys to the Castle” sustains a Krautrock groove surrounded by a melodic, mid-range bassline; however, John Dwyer does a poor man’s Ian Anderson, ruining the palatable orchestration with gravel lodged in his throat: “Floating in the vile moat yeah/Crack their skulls upon the cobbles.” Substitute Joe Cueto’s brilliant viola solo during the song’s endless outro with a flute, and the worst tracks on Jethro Tull’s Under Wraps come to mind.

When considering the breadth of Oh Sees’ prolific discography, good albums, such as Castlemania and Help, are well wedged within their burgeoning stack. But when “The Static God” begins Orc‘s invocation with a spastic, ear-bleeding riff, it signals the album’s doom. And once Orc‘s forgettable instrumental “Raw Optics” concludes the record, questions emerge about the declining quality of Dwyer’s beloved project. Is his creative process too insulated by likeminded acts to see its slow decay? Or, will Dwyer’s rebranding keep his most devoted fans appeased for now until some other manifestation of his project emerges? (www.theeohsees.com)

Author rating: 2/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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August 28th 2017

Seems like there’s heavy bias against this band coming through in this review. What a joke.

September 14th 2017

Ah, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, one of the greatest prog albums of all time.  Another clueless reviewer!

February 23rd 2020

This is quite possibly the worst review I’ve ever read in my entire life.
Consider retirement, Stephan.

July 9th 2021

Time to turn in those ears, champ, they’re busted.