Thee Oh Sees: Castlemania

“Summertime pop” from rotation establishment. 

OCS’ new record is noisy, poppy, psychedelic, punky and groovy – everything you’ve come to expect from John Dwyer and company. I spoke with Dwyer on the phone a few weeks after Garage Fest, and he said he views this “summertime pop” record as more of a solo effort. The liner notes include an exhaustive list of the instruments Dwyer plays, while the other three members who make up the latest incarnation of OCS aren’t mentioned at all, other than Brigid Dawson’s vocals on #14 and #16. Ty Segall plays drums and bass on #6 and sings on #14. Covers: #14 is by the West Coast Pop Experimental Band, #15 is by Big Wheel, and #16 is by Norma Tanega. #7 is great but less than a minute long. #8 and #9 are my faves, and the Big Wheel song is my favorite cover. #13 is an eerie, flute-led instrumental track. #11 is right on par with Beefheart’s “Abba Zaba.” Excellent stuff. Try listening to it on 33 if you get a chance to spin the vinyl. It’s a 12” pressed at 45 RPM, so I have a feeling it’s meant to be listened to both ways, especially since Dwyer’s vocals sound sped up on a lot of these tracks anyway.

Reviewed by Alex Tretbar

RIYL: The Seeds, Captain Beefheart, Coachwhips, Pink & Brown

Recommended tracks: 9, 8, 11, 15, 6, 4, 5, 10, 14, 3, 16

FCC warning: 1, 2

Label: In the Red