In the current theme of desert-sonic psychedelic sound, Thee Oh Sees drop the Thee for this release and just stick to simply Oh Sees. The castle-faced rock group known for strange personification of sound take another jab into the darkness with Face Stabber, a near hour-and-a-half of content taken through 14-tracks. With the vibrant orange background and a ghoulish figure as the cover, Oh Sees incorporates a new direction at every misstep.
Starting with “The Daily Heavy,” most of Face Stabber is less of a direct assault and more of a misguided and convoluted attack. The majority of the performance here comes from the instrumentation that relies on creating an overarching, but building tension through rapid guitar and bass work with percussion that showers in-between a fuzz-infused concoction. Almost every second of Face Stabber acts to create subsonic synonyms of what would be used to describe experimental style that continues to try and find this treasure trove of identity. Oh Sees have always worked in to both be able to sculpt while never falling to the victim of monotony or imbalance. Almost every second spent with Face Stabber is odd, but perfectly comfortable through wide ranges of performance.
Then as the track “Snickersnee” slides through the frame, Oh Sees form a vocalization method that is less of an instrument and more of a driving force to the sound. The rapid strikes on the strings are almost percussive and clap along to the snare hits where Face Stabber is more adaptive as a journey. Each track coincides within each other and forms an overlapping piece where every single second melts into the last without a rigid foundation. No one track has a second of downtime where identifying markers are given off. It is a wonder of design and almost enigmatic while Oh Sees conjure a wave of power behind their sound without falling victim to freeform ability.
Through each listen, Face Stabber illustrates a power stance between the audience and record at two opposite ends of a field. At one point where the listener stands, holds the natural, physical world. Where the record stands, is a loose adaptation of this uninhabitable but gorgeous world where Oh Sees rule as kings and queens. This world may be a responsive but jam-heavy planet that forms one of the most imaginative sounds of 2019 and welcoming addition to Oh Sees discography.