Song of the Day: Oh Sees – The Static God

Song of the Day, The Midday Show w/ Cheryl Waters
photo by Amber Knecht (view set)

By Stephanie Garr

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “The Static God” by Oh Sees from their album Orcs, available now via Castle Face Records.

Oh Sees – The Static God (MP3)

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist John Dwyer punctuates his 20th year and 19th album as frontman of Oh Sees (in all their various spellings) by dropping the "Thee" and churning out his California band's scuzziest slice of garage-psych-punk to date. In fact, none of those genres quite grasp the menacing chug steering the music of Orc through its own heady purgatory.

The album, released on Dwyer's Castle Face Records in August, blazes right out of the gate with lead single and opening track "The Static God." The motorik double pummel of Dan Rincon and Paul Quattrone offers the song's only sense of linear movement. Dwyer's squealing guitar threatens to end it all in a fiery blast until Tim Hellman's bass locks it into a manic surf-rock groove. The whole four minutes moves like a cliff-hugging car chase, lured on by Dwyer's satanic snarl: "I'm leaning in/Into the whip/Does it satisfy me?," he pants. At times, the song feels infinite -- giving you no room to breathe, to think, to comprehend its doom—before screeching to a thrilling halt.

Those who caught the band playing "The Static God" and other Orcs cuts at their sold-out Neumos show in September may have yet to fully recover. For more info and future tour dates, keep up with Oh Sees via their website. And revisit this live performance from last year in the KEXP Gathering Space below.

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