by Sophie Kemp (@sophiefkemp)
A Weird Exits, the latest album from Thee Oh Sees is one long, ‘60s psych rock trip. From the leadoff track to deep into the album, the bass is totally blown out and the guitar is loud, scuzzy and reverberant. It’s an album that is as fit for driving in a convertible, subwoofers shaking, as it is for listening to alone in a bedroom. The sonics are booming and best equipped for great stereo equipment—this album is something you’re supposed to listen to. The whole joy of A Weird Exits is pulling apart guitar pickups and listening to the distorted, almost underwater sound of frontman John Dwyer’s vocals.
The 8-track album features a few over five minute long tracks; the incomprehensible ‘Plastic Plant’ is a song that moves: it transitions from loud, fuzzy guitar hooks in the beginning to a distorted, synth fueled bridge—accompanied by Dwyer singing about a “gas electric glow” like a trippy mantra. The album’s closer ‘Axis,’ is an unbelievably gorgeous highlight. ‘Axis’ spans a little more than six minutes long and draws to mind a sound akin to Strawberry Alarm Clock. The song ends with a minute and a half of perfectly distorted guitar, eventually fading into noisy analog synth.
As a whole, the album is defined by two distinct but cohesive sounds. There’s ‘Gelatinous Cube,’ which plays like fast and doo-wop-y garage rock and on the other end, the slow burning organ-fueled ‘Crawl From The Fallout.’ A Weird Exits is a pleasing, hour-long exploration of noise and sound. It’s fun to hear the band explore the more psych-rooted elements of their sound, delving into the weird and truly psychedelic by the very end. It’s an album that at some moments hits you over the head with its eccentricities but overall, it’s a trip worth taking. Sit back, grab some good studio headphones and relax, it’s about to get noisy as fuck.