the leader gets stuck in intermediate gear


Osees frontman John Dwyer is back with another album – his fourth solo project in addition to his 20s he has already recorded with his daytime band. In recent years he has produced some solid, albeit somewhat goofy, records under his ever-evolving nicknames of Osees (OCS, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees – take your pick), including the effort of Progressive rock from last year ‘Protean Threat’ and ‘Smote Reverser’ from 2018, which, aside from its excessive noodles, was hugely impressive.

‘Gong Splat’, his latest instrumental and improvised solo album is, as followers of his work will now expect, a record filled with a wall full of blurry white noise that twists and clicks like a wild Catherine wheel spinning. . control.

Last year Dwyer posed his choppy modus operandi for a punk site Stronger than war: “I think it’s important to grow up… I have a fairly short attention span… so I like to move around a bit, but we still have the limits of our abilities and our overall sound… You will find these same sounds. in there, just sort of put together in a different way. Like The Fall, Dwyer regularly releases records that are the same – but very different from his own productions and those of others.

The opening title track vibrates with arrhythmic drum patterns and throbbing space effects, the result being an erratic jazz jam. Sadly, it is the model for much of the rest of the record, with the exception of a few songs – notably “Anther Dust”, which feels like a haunting sci-fi horror soundtrack, with its weird synths and its roaring spatial effects, and the swirling ‘Hypogeum’, whose trippy beats suck you in like a psychedelic black hole.

Other than that, it’s a pretty tough listening, with people like the over-inflated “Yuggoth Travel Agency” filled with the same chaotic drum patterns and shrill noises that have dominated the album so far – Only this time for a whole nine minutes. Then there’s the overwhelming squall that is “Minor Protocols,” a chaotic number that, even at a minute and a half, is 90 seconds too long.

The tracks that work on this album would fit perfectly into a spooky sci-fi soundtrack, but the remaining songs really slow the collection down. Dwyer is known for his handbrake turns and extremely varied rotors, but on ‘Gong Splat’ it looks like he’s stuck in the same predictable, slamming gear.


Release date: December 17th
A record company: Chateau Face Records


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