Osees - Intercepted Message (Red/Blue Vinyl)

Regular price $ 46.99

In December 2022, John Dwyer, the founder and leader of Osees (dating back to those carefree days when they were still called Thee Oh Sees), opened a recording studio in Los Angeles, Discount Mirrors. A look at their website shows the place has a nice collection of keyboards, both old and new. Perhaps spending some time with that bank of synthesizers inspired Dwyer, because the hard-edged punk-informed sound of Osees' 2022 release A Foul Form has given way to an edgy homage to synth pop on 2023's Intercepted Message. The cries, squeals, and bleeps of aging electronic keyboards dominate most of these songs, along with the angular melodies and lockstep rhythms that were common in early electronic pop of the late 1970s and early '80s. Q: Are We Not Men?-era Devo is clearly a touchstone here, both in terms of its embrace of cheap keyboards and its ranting about the unfortunate direction of the American mindset, as the abuses of social media, media overdrive, economic inequality, and global groupthink are raked over the coals in Dwyer's lyrics. Also like Devo's salad days, Intercepted Message finds room for guitars in the arrangements, even if the keyboards take the lead, and "The Fish Needs a Bike" and "Goon" also owe a clear debt to first-era punk rock, while the title cut sounds like a love letter to synth-punk pioneers the Screamers. Perhaps with tongue in cheek, Osees also throw in the seven-minute "Always at Night" that nods to the glossier work of Spandau Ballet and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, and "Ladwp Hold" closes out the LP with a cool fusion of New Romantic polish and the obsessive electronic handclaps of electro-formed hip-hop. Given Dwyer's sonic shapeshifting as his band evolved from garage rock and psychedelia to punk metal and prog rock, a detour into synth pop is only so surprising, and on Intercepted Message he's filled the music with enough frantic energy and lyrical urgency that this clearly comes from his musical imagination, even if it explores new territory, and as a loving re-creation of the futuristic sounds of the past, it's well worth a listen.

Red/ Blue Vinyl

Blank Chems
Intercepted Message
Die Laughing
Unusual & Cruel
The Fish Needs A Bike
Chaos Heart
Submerged Building
Sleazoid Psycho
Always At Night
Opus No. 1