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Album Review: ‘Mutilator Defeated At Last’ by Oh Sees

PSYCHEDELIC ROCK at its punchiest, most distilled, least over-thought, most punk steamrolled chunder. It’s not like this group has gone unnoticed, and this album is just my favorite of their 26-odd releases, mainly for its summation of their spirit, and for the fantastic mashing walls of guitar and synth flourishes that compliment the sheer force of two punk drummers going full tilt. The Oh Sees are led by John Dwyer, the only consistent member of the band since it’s formation in the late 90’s, and the life force of one of the simultaneously influenced and influencing bands of the most unique feel and sounds. Dwyer’s guitar alone could write a book of melodies you’ll find stitched into your wildest dreams. The album in question is dealing with everything the Oh Sees have to offer.

‘Web,’ ‘Withered Hand,’ and ‘Turned Out Light’ will give you the courage and desire to be surrounded by moshing humanity, with distorted vocals talking about plucking eyes out of “your” skull, having faith in strangers, and a reminder that when time stands a little too still, and a little too dark, is the best time to dig in and make a lot of fucking noise. ‘Sticky Hulks’ as a song title doesn’t make much sense to me still, but the song is about astral seasons drifting by and a lot of hippy dippy stuff that sounds almost approachable and serene in the context of the song. If you let the lyrics be an instrument, the music takes on a new layer of profundity to make you move your body in a silly, violent sort of way. 

The album doesn’t really seem to tackle anything except your body. It might take a while to come around if you are new to punk and psychedelic rock, but there is truly no reason to gatekeep this band, unless you believe in the power of the underground. 

‘Mutilator Defeated at Last’ is an accessible, albeit power-hungry, moshing intro to the Oh Sees, and to the genres of post-modern punk and psychedelic rock. Listen in the car when you wanna head bang and go a little too fast. Use it to justify your open attitude towards rebellion, and if all else fails, introduce your mom to the band, and whether they like it or they hate it, there’s a reason to bond, or a reason to be defiantly you. 

New:It Rains Love’ by Lee Fields, The Expressions (2019)

If you are searching for the thing to listen to when you’re trying to catch a vibe, parkin’ and sparkin’, sittin’ and sippin’, look no further. Every one of these tracks oozes a steamy lounge attitude, led by a stout rhythm section. The melodic ties of guitars and horns come together with the vocal lines to clarify something about the way you’re supposed to feel right here, right now. 

Like New: ‘Psychedelic Soul’ by The Temptations (1970)

Lee Fields picks up where this record by The Temptations left off in a more produced, less narrative way, and maybe has some answers for their questions along the way. ‘Take A Stroll Through Your Mind’ advises as the title suggests, because “sometimes you may be surprised at what you might find.” It is perfect chill reflection/concoction of sizzly echoes and stereo headphone fun. Bass lines abound and vocals whisper in your ear, clear as the voice inside your head. Be sure to ground yourself before diving fully in. 

What to listen to right now: (Just get on Spotify and look it up)

Turn Off: Tik Tok mega mixes – for variety

Turn On: The albums the songs that you hear on Tik Tok are on. They might slap, who knows?

Turn Up: ‘Hold On, We’re Goin Home’ by Drake and Majid Jordan. Seniors, don’t get emotional, but there’s about 40 days until graduation.

On Campus: C Haus is going to be open on the last four Saturdays of the semester! Catch live music every week, starting Apr. 9 with D’Funk and the Grease Monkeys. This will be followed by a two new Beloit bands night with The Snappers headlining on Apr. 16. Both shows have two acts and start around 8pm. Bar will be open to those 21+. 

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