Oh SeesHarvest Sun @ Invisible Wind Factory 10/11/21
“We’re OH SEES, don’t forget to tip your bartenders.” It’s easy to believe the LA garage-rock giants have never been away as they kickstart a two-hour set with psych sprawler I Come From The Mountain. The jagged riffs and stabbing vocal delivery make for a perfect reintroduction to the cult heroes. It’s the band’s first lap back on UK soil and their debut appearance in Liverpool; needless to say they proceed to make every second count – with blood, sweat and flung beers.
They’re still touring with their iconic two-drummer set-up, who provide a mesmerising focal point as the duo play in unison for the remainder of the evening with little respite. Frontman John Dwyer is off to the left and stays rooted, guitar pinned to his chest, producing wave after wave of thrilling distortion. They roll straight into Static God from 2018’s Orc and it’s the first signal that tonight will span their vast, treasure-filled catalogue.
You can think of all the adjectives under the sun for the unrivalled goblin rock the band have developed (and willingly serve up with every ounce of physicality across the set), but ultimately this is a proper rock ‘n’ roll show. There’s a primal sense of release as Oh Sees thrash out classics of their genre – all the while the turbine of the venue rotates slowly behind them – suiting the industrial workman-like approach the band have always had in regard to writing and touring. Oh Sees are a machine and it’s something we can all be thankful for.
There’s light and shade throughout the lengthy set; rampant and sprawling earlier works from 2011’s Carrion Crawler / The Dream bleed into the sludgy stoner riffs from 2018’s Smote Reverser. They air plenty of new material as well and are anything but short of it. There’s room for humour, too, as Dwyer announces: “Nobody’s ever heard this song before – it’s brand-new”, before tearing into fan favourite toe cutter – thumb buster.
Nature is very much healing as half of the packed room sip away at limited edition beers brewed by local brewery, Carnival, for the gig (complete with cosmic artwork). Other less special beverages are hurled high over the crowd, as the room sways in a chaotic fashion. There’s something for everyone here, and Oh Sees ensure their first Liverpool show is a triumph. Let’s just hope they stop by again.