The Oh Sees, Sucks Blood, 2007 Castle Face Records
The Oh Sees’ 2007 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. The Oh Sees were originally known as “OCS” led by John Dwyer (guitar, vocals); and have released several albums this decade, but since officially converting to the “Oh Sees” 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 Oh Sees. If it wasn’t for your crisp guitars and wooing vocals—I may have returned my half of the friendship bracelet.
In the end, the Oh Sees self-characterized “goo-rock” is, album by album, evolving into a unique indie masterpiece with a lot of bite.
Review: Karoline Anderson
CHEEYA! THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM. despite a couple trashy tracks that are worse than the terrible-twos, curling, and mtv’s sweet 16 COMBINED… the inbetween tracks really outshine any misfortunes. a really super review from an underground british magazine (on the ohsees first album “as” the ohsees), said the band was like a “day at the pool… with a shark in it.”