The debut studio album from Thee Oh Sees is one that extends its reach into many different genres, but does them all so well that it is actually hard to describe this album. The punk rock songs are fast, aggressive, and have that great straight to the point punk feel, but the slower, more melodic tracks are still progressive enough to hold the listener’s attention and keep them, me included, begging for more.
A Weird Exits is an album that I went in with no previous knowledge of the record, or of the record label known as Castle Face. I was instantly blown away by how edgy and raw the recording on A Weird Exits was, but also how well they fit inside all these different genres. It reminded me of the first time I had ever heard a Death Grips record and just had no clue how to describe them. Thee Oh Sees are like a punk-rock hybrid that crossed paths with The Smiths and a little bit of jazz influence as well. Like I said before, they are extremely hard to pin-point into one single sound and that works perfectly for Thee Oh Sees as they have free range to move in any direction.
A Weird Exits begins with the track “Dead Man’s Gun” that has this really sweet little guitar lick that acts a small filler between the drums and the near chanting of front-man and woman, John Dwyer and Brigid Dawson on the vocals. The two make for a great combination as Brigid’s voice has a softer and more approachable tone while Dwyer uses his voice to be powerful and put some assertion behind each track. Thee Oh Sees also consists of Petey Dammit, who is sometimes called Petey Dammit! and Mike Shoun on drums.
Together, Thee Oh Sees are a newer band that I just felt a sense of nostalgia with their sound and could instantly become attached to their music. It had this gritty, crunchy, and dirty tone, all while keeping a consistent change in overall feel that kept A Weird Exits feeling fresh after every listen.
While the album narrowly misses the forty-minute mark, it still is able to break down the walls of genre and create something that feels old but is actually totally new. Each track feels like a different experience and tracks like “Gelatinous Cube” had this surf feel to it and was able to remind me of early Wavves.
Then fast forward to the end of A Weird Exits and you come out with the song “The Axis” which was easily my favorite track of the entire album. The backing vocals, the organ piece, the dreamscape sounding guitars, the eerie lyrics, the whole track is just a masterpiece. I just loved the line “Don’t you know how much I don’t love you,” and
“Don’t you know how much I don’t care.” Its like Thee Oh Sees are just spitting in the face of everyone who ever made a love ballad in their life. It is honestly such a beautifully crafted song and it makes the whole album do an entire one-eighty spin.
Thee Oh Sees are a great band that I look forward to hearing more of, they have some other earlier EP’s and tracks out and while I go back to those, I can only recommend their work to everyone else. At least check out “The Axis” if nothing else, as A Weird Exits can take us to some strange places, they still continue to be fascinating.