Thee Oh Sees, The Blind Shake, OBN III's

Thee Oh Sees

Thee Oh Sees are the latest incarnation of songwriter, singer, and guitarist John Dwyer's ever-evolving pop-folk psychedelic group. Dwyer, who hails from Providence, RI, has been active on the San Francisco indie scene since the late '90s, working with several bands, including the Coachwhips, Pink & Brown, Yikes, Up Its Alive, and Swords & Sandals, among others, and he formed OCS (which is an acronym for Orinoka Crash Suite, Orange County Sound, or whatever Dwyer decided it was on any given day) initially as a vehicle for the experimental instrumentals he was producing in his home studio.

In time OCS morphed into an actual band, and worked under the usual flurry of names, most notably as the Oh Sees or the Ohsees , and eventually as Thee Oh Sees, featuring Dwyer on guitar and vocals, Brigid Dawson on vocals and tambourine, Petey Dammit (sometimes listed as Petey Dammit! on bass, and Mike Shoun on drums.

The Blind Shake

Minneapolis riff-scientists The Blind Shake have been troweling out detuned psych-noise for a poor man’s decade. Known for murderous live sets and polite post-show interactions, the trio has gained the respect of dive bar owners, bookies, clergy, and no-name snitches nationwide. They've collaborated with psychedelic legend Michael Yonkers as well as downstroke warrior John Reis. They are a force to be reckoned with as many shall see on their upcoming tour with Thee Oh Sees, and they have a brandy new full-length coming for Castle Face, Key To A False Door, which comes out September 17th.


Presumably, a good-looking, highly intelligent person like yourself is very familiar with the adage,

“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Thing is, what might be applicable to a functioning washer/dryer,

chainsaw, food processor or high-end vibrator has absolutely nothing to do with the artistic

ambitions of a rock’n’roll band worth giving a fuck about. Some might choose to argue the point,

but no one is going to mistake the 2015 OBN III’s with a washer/dryer, chainsaw, food processor

or high-end vibrator.

It is well established at this point OBN III’s are a vehicle for the songs & performances of Orville

Bateman Neeley III. Thru 3 studio albums for Chicago’s Tic Tac Totally, 2 live albums and a

impressive pile of 7”’s for sundry global labels, not to mention chaotic live exhibitions that ranged

from the slightly confrontational to the very confrontational, the Austin based OBN III’s have long

been considered the great angry hope of the U.S. underground. So, you might well ask, "why

break something that doesn’t require fixing?”

That’s the kind of question I’d expect from a total coward (and I thank you for not asking it out

loud). It takes real fortitude & courage to detonate a wildly successful formula, to part way with

players as talented as Messers Cashen, Smith and Low, and instead, return to the fray with a

twin guitar juggernaut in the form of ‘Worth A Lot Of Money’, the most fully realized, unrelenting

OBN III’s album to date. For a guy with zero to prove in the songwriting sweepstakes, Neeley’s

emerged with both the catchiest and most raging material of his 29 years, and however many

echoes you might catch of say, Thin Lizzy, Rose Tattoo or Sonics Rendezvous Band, the current

quartet of Neeley (now on guitar + vocals), guitarist Tom Triplett (The Real Energy, Snooty

Garbagemen, Blaxx), bassist Michael Andrew Goodwin (Massagenist, Low Times) and Marley

Jones (ex-Sweet Talk) are ridiculously locked in.

Recorded with the assistance of producer Mike McCarthy (Cherubs, Spoon, A Giant Dog), though

‘Worth A Lot Of Money’ might be a quantum leap forward in recording quality for this band,

there’s no trickery in action, as anyone who’s seen these guys on multiple continents over the last

year can attest. In Triplett, Neeley’s got a virtuoso-level guitar foil ; in Goodwin & Jones, the

foundation for, well, greatness. That’s the goal, anyway.

Anyhow, public relations puffery’s a blast and everything, but I’d be very out of place calling the

OBN III’s the best rock band in America. For starters, that’s your job, not mine.



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