Who: Again as the Oh Sees, John Dwyer continues his annual musical journey with another prog/psych/punk experience with Face Stabber.
Sound: More prog than previous efforts that has links to Yes and Pink Floyd that runs extra-long at over 80-minutes.
TFN Final Take: The constant production of music from Oh Sees is something to be excited about as John Dwyer has consistently pushed his band’s boundaries with each release regardless of its moniker. At this point, Thee Oh Sees, OCS and Oh Sees all feel like one driven vehicle and Face Stabber keeps on driving.
The album has an over 80-minute running time and really spotlights Oh Sees move into a more prog like domination. Before, Oh Sees have dabbled and toyed with the prog genre but the over 14-minute “Scutum & Scorpius” and the 21-minute closer “Henchlock” dive in headfirst. As different as they are for fans, these two tracks showcase the talent diversity of Dwyer and work as interesting pieces to the much bigger Oh Sees puzzle. You will hear the classic Yes within which probably won’t be recognized by many of the younger fanbase so Oh Sees have essentially reintroduced a 70’s type structure to the 2019 audience.
In other places on Face Stabber, you will receive a full almost metal assault on heavy tracks like “Heart Worm” and “Gholü” which both don’t pass the 2-minute mark. These tracks give Face Stabber an iron fist but also keep the record somewhat unfocused with nervous twitches. With the style swings, you never can really settle into Face Stabber even though individually the music is solid and will slide right into a live setlist without pause. Currently, with the current output of Oh Sees, even if Face Stabber is not your ideal listen you shouldn’t fret because I am sure Dwyer has something new planned real soon!
Oh Sees Website
Castle Face Records
– Reviewed by Thomas Wilde