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Live Review: Thee Oh Sees, Straight Arrows

15 January 2016 | 4:23 pm | Hannah Story

"The set is loud and manic, the crowd a sort of throbbing garage mass."

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Two sold out shows at Newtown Social for the new look Oh Sees? No wonder, considering that performance. Last night was a night of debauched rock'n'roll from John Dwyer and co, and their mates Sydney's Straight Arrows.

Straight Arrows opened with the one-two punch of Fruit Of The Forest and Can't Stand It, before frontman Owen Penglis and co really unleashed for Mind Control and Petrified. They're born garage performers, jumping and thrashing about in front of a somewhat subdued Thursday crowd. Never Enough and the bass-heavy Haunted Out take out set highlights, a bit grimy, a bit sexy. Penglis flings the mic and exits the stage following Bad Temper.

John Dwyer of San Franciscan garage-psych-punks Thee Oh Sees got himself a whole new band for 2015's Mutilator Defeated At Last. He's brought these three new lads out to Australia for the first time, these being Dwyer's first shows over yonder since 2013. The new group features two dedicated drummers in Ryan Moutinho and Dan Rincon, who take centre stage, as well as bassist Tim Hellman, who spends tonight's set seemingly seated to one side. Dwyer is on the other, bursting with energy, thrashing at his guitar and whipping his fringe to and fro, as he yelps and howls into the mic. The new group sounds tight tonight, although Brigid Dawson's backing vocals and keys are missed at times. But the depth of those two drum kits, the sheer noise/power of it, drives the songs, a backbone to Dwyer's sometimes meandering guitar lines, really just a series of lengthy breakdowns.

The crowd are champing at the bit for cuts from Carrion Crawler/The Dream. When they're rewarded with one the room becomes a frenzy of flailing limbs, people dancing, running into each other, attempting a stagedive and a crowdsurf. One guy towards the front brandishes a milk crate (where did he even get that from?) above the crowd. The set is loud and manic, the crowd a sort of throbbing garage mass. Thee Oh Sees end on an extended Carrion Crawler, mayhem ensues.

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