If you haven't yet seen The Coachwhips live, then you're
missing out on one of the most brutally tight cans of punk blues
whoop ass ever unleashed onto the free world. OCS is a
side project of John Dwyer, lead musical arsonist of said
For those looking for fury, fear, and aggro wallop, this is probably
not going to be your bag. This is much closer to a Microphones
record; a series of acoustic quilts that range from the soothing
ambient sketches, warbling folk freak outs, and other clunky arrangements
that sound like piles of leftovers. To be sure, it's not instantly
seductive, many times begging questions about its own recording
on numbers like "Left Me Dry", an out of tune meander
that sounds like an infant playing with musical instruments. There's
probably something to be said for trying to catch that level of
free from scribbling and put it to record, but I'm most definitely
not the person to say it.
Two aims for irritation and, many times, succeeds in spades.
Distorted keyboard, out of tune guitar, kicked over trash cans-
pretty much every song is a playpen of reserved chaos, occasionally
threaded with a pearl strand of acoustic notes, but with petulant
infrequency. A couple of songs have an ole timey eerie air, like
"Bisbee w/ Chiara G", which sounds like an Appalachian
horror film score, but even there I'm reaching for the compliment
out of misplaced fealty to Mr. Dwyer. Too often this sounds like
lazy, noodling moments of inchoate creativity that would do well
to germinate without being prematurely committed to record.
I wanted to like this, I really did, and I was hoping for something
that, while not easy, wouldn't prove to be such a difficult bore.
There are definitely people I'd recommend this to, the people
who assure me that bands like Black Dice are bloody brilliant
if I'm willing to get into music as an intellectual exercise,
something akin to criticism devouring art. You'd probably not
have to look too far to find someone who could pontificate this
out for you, tweezing from the noise some statement that's deeper
than: "I like playing with myself. Would you mind listening?"
1. So I Guess We Can't Hang Out
4. Mike D
5. Banjo Sold For Rent
6. Killed Yourself
7. You Are 16, I Am High
10. Left Me Day
13. Bisbee With Chiara G
14. Freeting and Fussing
15. I Would Draw In Regret
17. No Bitches On This Train
18. Bisbee 2
20. Our Lovesong Icky Boyfriends
21. JPD, A Young Man, Tells Goldylox
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