Published Apr 19, 2014Here's what we know: Thee Oh Sees mastermind John Dwyer, frustrated with an influx of wealth in his beloved hometown of San Francisco, relocated to Los Angeles late in 2013. He insinuated in one of Thee Oh Sees' last San Francisco shows that fans wouldn't be hearing from the band for a while. It would seem Dwyer didn't leave the city on amicable terms.
Dwyer has never shied away from manifesting his emotions in the form of unrestrained psych-influenced freak-outs, most recently on 2013's ballistic Floating Coffin. Yet it's not anger that's palpable on Drop, but longing. By providing a peek into the kaleidoscope that is his frame of mind and lessening the sonic assault that some favour, Drop's potency exists in its humility. The touches on "The Lens" are as subtle as anything he's ever released as Thee Oh Sees, "Transparent World" relies on a foreboding groove to grab one's attention before falling into a languid, seemingly ceaseless fuzzy solo and "Savage Victory" only hints at their trademark punishing bounce. Drop indeed feels much longer than the 31-minute effort it really is. It's not a smooth listen, but it doesn't quite contain the sense of immediacy of recent releases.
For a man that prided himself on releasing records at a tireless rate, Drop is a notable achievement: Dwyer may now be at odds with his muse and his songwriting is not nearly as fun in a traditional sense. Still, he's challenged himself to think outside of a box that he was happy working within and the results remain entirely engaging. (Castle Face)