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  • On their 400th album in the last two years, one might assume that the Oh Sees might be running out of steam. Maybe they would be out of ideas, lacking fire or retreading ground previously trod to the point of being worn out. Nope, none of that. Orc is another classic Oh Sees album that shows no signs of wear and tear anyplace in the operation. About half the record is made up of songs that are a white-hot blast of blown-out guitars, dual drummers bashing the living snot out of their kits, a bassist trying to hold it all together in the middle of a hurricane, and John Dwyer yelping like he just put his hand down on a hot stove. The other half is split between thudding heavy metal that comes complete with proggy organ breakdowns ("Animated Violence"), creepy art rock that showcases Dwyer's spookiest vocals ("Jettison"), tracks that impinge on the synth rock of Dwyer's Damaged Bug alter ego ("Paranoise"), and two songs that feature long codas with violin ("Keys to the Castle") and drum ("Raw Optics") solos. Through it all, Dwyer and crew ride the dynamic shifts between quiet and loud, navigate the madly juxtaposed sections, weirdly complicated hard prog, and mindlessly bashed-out garage rock, and basically keep listeners on their toes as it's almost impossible to guess what might happen next, even within such a singular world as the one Dwyer has spent years carving out for the band. No matter what shape or form the songs take, they are driven by Dwyer's non-stop energy and the band's uncanny ability to transmit it through the speakers like sparks from a live wire. He's truly an indie rock treasure and if he and the Oh Sees made a hundred albums a year, they'd all be worth listening to. Especially if they had the raging fire, killer songs, and unpredictable genius that Orc has. ~ Tim Sendra
Professional Reviews
Uncut - "[O]ne final triumph of hypnotic garage ramalam, interspersed with jazzier and quasi-ambient passages that testified to Dwyer's ever-expanding artistic range."

Magnet - "ORC is a continuation of the careening energy and creativity that has defined the most recent handful of Oh Sees' records, making it one of the most beastly in the bunch."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.93) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Dwyer's crew are oft-cited as the world's most exciting live rock band; they're also making some of its most exciting rock records."

Paste (magazine) - "The record is an absolutely evil stunner from front to back, top to bottom, head to toes and everywhere in between, and whips up the same kind of radiant, strange awe that the band's overdriven catalog has so generously perpetrated album after wicked album."
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