Triple D's & Tight Bros present

Oh Sees

With Escape-Ism, The Holydrug Couple

Tuesday, October 23
7:30PM doors / 8:30PM show
All Ages
  • Price$22
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Oh Sees

Psych-punk psychic warrior, ear worm-farmer, and possessor of many stamped passport pages John Dwyer does not let up. His group Oh Sees (aka Thee Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, etc) have transmogrified to fit many a moment - from hushed druggy folk to groovy demonic pop chants to science fictional krautrock expanse and beyond - to suit his omnivorous whims. It’s common knowledge however, that at their shows, you’re there asking for a beating. 20 years going and the shows keep getting more and more intense, as many a soupy swarm can attest. The locked-in Rincon/Quattrone drum cops propel masses of strangers to froth and lean into each other as the insistent and repetitive underpinning tumbles nimbly from Tim Hellman’s bass. Meanwhile John ricochets breathy yips and snippets of synth and all manner of guitar heroics around your brain canyons while your reptile instincts yell “move”. Brain-stem body rock meets cerebral expanses, and their now du jour prolifically feeds a labyrinthine garden of well-hewn tunes. Last year’s Orc was a muscular and darkly inventive turn for the group, stretching out further into space while simultaneously sharpening their heaviest inclinations to a rusty point. After a re-visitation of the softer side of the genesis of the group with “Memory of a Cut Off Head”, all signs point to another banger on the horizon as the group decamps this March back to the dusty pecan farm where Orc was spawned for another go-round.

Escape-Ism

Introduction to Escape-ism shouldn’t only be reviewed in the music press but in the “world affairs” column of a conspiracy-minded newspaper, on a hot-rod review TV show, or possibly at an important conference by a renowned astrophysicist. It’s that important! Why? Because it’s the first “solo” record by Ian Svenonius—of groups The Make-Up, Chain & the Gang, The Nation of Ulysses, XYZ, Weird War, etc. and author of underground bestsellers such as The Psychic Soviet, Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ’n’ Roll Group, and Censorship Now!!—and as such, it’s profound, prophetic, perverse, and poetic… It’s introverted glitter, violence against the state, obsessive desire; it stomps on convention, shreds constitutions, clobbers pre-conceived notions of what a record can be. Yes, that’s right: a single-person performance by I.F. Svenonius—recognized by Performer Magazine as the “greatest performer on the planet”—Introduction to Escape-ism is a bite into a one-banana bunch. A drum box, a guitar, a cassette player, and a single slobbering, sinful voice singing out…for a way out. Live, it’s a new paradigm of performance: raw, gestural, idiotic, sublime, revolutionary, poetic, faux naïf, unknowing, a drainage pipe that leads to who knows where.

The Holydrug Couple

It was 10 years ago, in a house on the outskirts of Santiago, Chile, that Ives Sepúlveda Minho and Manuel Parra started playing music together, and The Holydrug Couple was effectively born. A decade later, they’ve made ‘Hyper Super Mega’, an album that represents the culmination of everything they’ve learned in their years as a band. Following the release and surrounding tours of their second album, 2015’s ‘Moonlust’ (Sacred Bones), the duo found themselves back at home, feeling directionless and listless. “The over-riding feeling was one of exhaustion,” Sepúlveda recalls, “exhaustion of the planet and of culture, the overuse of references and information that you see everywhere, in fashion, literature, tourism, music, technology and so on.” Amidst this feeling of weariness, the words “Hyper”, “Super” and “Mega” struck a chord – these terms with origins so steeped in history and mythology, which have come to represent stark superlatives of consumerism. Hypercapitalism, hypermarket, megalomania, megastorm, megabyte, megabuck, megaplex, superhighway, superhero, supermodel, supersize… “It seemed that the scale of everything over-exaggerates human capacity and time” he notes. So, the duo immersed themselves in these feeling and started to build the foundations of their new. Amidst eleven tracks of perfectly-formed, heady psych-pop, ‘Hyper Super Mega’ speaks of immediacy, internet and social media, consumption, love and a comfortable despair at the state of the planet. It tells of a world over-connected through cell phones and information, whilst hinting at the place of occult language and imagery in an attempt to convene different and unknown places, or places that are open to interpretation. Sonically, if ‘Hyper Super Mega’ feels, in places, like a classic pop record, that’s because Sepúlveda and Parra spent much of the recording process thinking, too, about the classic pop records of the ’60s and ’70s. Masterpieces by bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Fleetwood Mac were all reference points, not always explicitly in sound, but certainly in spirit. The duo approached the mythos of the “classic album” from their own inimitable perspective, hoping to make a record that felt authentically like The Holydrug Couple that might fit into the same canon. Not only is ‘Hyper Super Mega’ the most cohesive Holydrug Couple album to date, it’s also the best-sounding. In the three years since the release of ‘Moonlust’, the band have taken time experimenting with new equipment and sounds, including different mics and synths. For Sepúlveda, this was revelatory. “It gave me a wider palette of sounds that I wasn’t aware of,” he explains. “It helped me to center more on details and the different emotions that different sounds and ways of singing create.” This expanded palette led to songs like “Waterfalls” and “I’ll Only Say This,” which build on the bedroom charm of the band’s earlier work, adding elements of cinematic pop bliss. Even the experiments, like the electronic-meets-acoustic “Easy,” are as self-assured as anything the band have done before. ‘Hyper Super Mega’ is a capsule history of The Holydrug Couple, incorporating a decade of experience recording, touring the world, and absorbing the sights and sounds of their native Chile. It marks the 10th anniversary of a band whose next 10 years look even brighter than the last.