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Osees (then Thee Oh Sees) performing in 2010
Osees (then Thee Oh Sees) performing in 2010
Background information
Also known asOrinoka Crash Suite (1997–2003)
OCS (2003–2005, 2017)
Orange County Sound (2005)
The Ohsees (2006)
Thee Oh Sees (2006–2017)
Oh Sees (2017–2019)
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Years active1997–present
  • John Dwyer
  • Tim Hellman
  • Dan Rincon
  • Paul Quattrone
  • Tomas Dolas
Past members

Osees is an American rock band formed in San Francisco, California in 1997, now based in Los Angeles, California.[1] Originally the solo recording project of John Dwyer, the band has evolved through numerous line-up and name changes since its founding, with Dwyer serving as the band leader and primary songwriter throughout. The group's sound draws from a wide variety of influences, including garage rock, krautrock, psychedelia, and folk music. Osees are noted for their prolific recording output, energetic live shows, and whimsical visual aesthetic.

Since 2018, Osees has consisted of multi-instrumentalist John Dwyer, bassist Tim Hellman, drummers Paul Quattrone and Dan Rincon, and keyboardist Tomas Dolas. The group has released twenty-six studio albums, five of which feature the current lineup.

Name changes[edit]

The group habitually changes their name between releases, sometimes recording one-off albums under a different name before returning to the previous. At various times, the band has performed or released under the names Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees, and Osees. Band leader Dwyer has explained that the frequent name changes are done in opposition to the music press: "it seems to aggravate the press, which to me is great. I have nothing but contempt for the music press."[2]

This article refers to the band by its current name throughout, including in reference to events that occurred while the band operated under other names. For a chronology of the band's name changes, please see Osees discography.


Freak folk era (1997–2006)[edit]

John Dwyer began releasing songs on compilation albums under the name Orinoka Crash Suite as early as 1997,[3][4] while based in San Francisco. Initially, Osees served as a solo project for Dwyer while he focused on his participation in other groups, including Pink and Brown, and Coachwhips.[5][2]

The first three Osees albums featured Dwyer as a solo performer. The project expanded into a group with the addition of percussionist Patrick Mullins on OCS 4: Get Stoved, joined one release later by keyboardist and vocalist Brigid Dawson. The group's first six studio albums (and other contemporary output) were recorded in a freak folk style, with lo-fi recording techniques, quiet percussion, and acoustic guitar as the lead instrument.

During this period, Dwyer founded Castle Face Records to facilitate the release of Osees records.[6]

Classic line-up era (2007–2013)[edit]

The 2007 release of The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In marked a major stylistic change in the group's music towards a high-energy, garage rock style. The album was the first to feature drummer Mike Shoun on drums and guitarist Petey Dammit!, a lineup that would remain relatively stable until the band's 2013 hiatus. Notably, Dammit! performed bass parts on a standard guitar, doing a "small secret thing" to his instrument to produce a bass sound.[7] Dwyer credited Shoun's playing style as the impetus behind the band's transition to playing more energetic rock.[6]

Osees released some of their most critically acclaimed studio albums under this lineup, including Carrion Crawler/The Dream (2011) — which features live show staple "The Dream", and Floating Coffin (2013).[8][9]

Current lineup era and relocation (2013–present)[edit]

In 2013, Dwyer announced a hiatus for Osees as he re-located to Los Angeles.[10] He soon reformed the band with a new lineup, accompanied by a shift to a heavier, garage punk sound.

The current line-up began to solidify during the recording of 2017's Orc, and was finalized by the addition of keyboardist (and occasional guitarist) Tomas Dolas during the recording of 2018's Smote Reverser.[11] Since 2017, the group's output has prominently featured the influence of krautrock, with releases and performances typically containing long, improvised, progressive jams.[2] Extended jams are featured with particular prominence on Face Stabber (2019), and Metamorphosed (2020). Some recent releases explore a particular style outside the group's usual repertoire. For example, Panther Rotate (2020) explores remixed music,[12] and A Foul Form (2022) is recorded in a hardcore punk style.[13] Since 2016, Osees recordings and performances have incorporated two drummers, which is unusual in rock music[citation needed].

Dwyer continues to occasionally collaborate with ex-bandmember Dawson on Osees releases, most notably on the 2017 release Memory of a Cut Off Head, a one-off return to the band's original freak folk style.


Osees' recording output is notably prolific, so much that it has been parodied in the music press.[14] In a September 2012 interview with New York Music News, Petey Dammit explained the band's philosophy on recording:[15]

We work hard. I think it seems strange for us to release so many records because of the tradition in the recording industry to do things a certain way. For decades it has been months and months in the studio, one release a year, tour this, tour that, do this, do that ... We just do what we want to do. Most of the songs have been worked out by the time we get to the studio so we can record them all live in two days. The other two days in the studio are having fun writing on the spot and having fun.

Regarding the group's tendency towards experimentation in recent years, John Dwyer explains in a 2019 interview: [16]

You don't have to make a boring record when you get old. I feel like people just sometimes lose the fire or get lazy. So we try and get noisier and harder and weirder and longer and more bloated. I just go with my gut.





  1. ^ Pehling, Dave (September 3, 2021). "Psychedelic garage-rock heroes Osees play annual SF shows at the Chapel - CBS San Francisco". www.cbsnews.com. Archived from the original on August 13, 2022. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  2. ^ a b c "The Aquarium Drunkard Interview :: OSEES' John Dwyer". Aquarium Drunkard. August 17, 2022. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  3. ^ "Various - Unidentified Noisy Objects". Discogs. October 4, 1997. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  4. ^ "Various - Penus Rectus". Discogs. October 4, 1997. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  5. ^ Richards, Sam (July 6, 2022). "Osee' John Dywer: "I'm like the mythical shark that has to keep moving"". Uncut. KELSEY Media. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Goins, Cole. "Head Coach - An Interview with John Dwyer". Dusted Magazine. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  7. ^ Henkell, Karl. "Interview: Petey Dammit of Thee Oh Sees". Everguide. Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "Reviews for Carrion Crawler/The Dream by Thee Oh Sees". metacritic. Fandom. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  9. ^ "Reviews for Floating Coffin by Thee Oh Sees". metacritic. Fandom.
  10. ^ Breihan, Tom (December 20, 2013). "Thee Oh Sees Go On Hiatus". Stereogum. Stereogum Media. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  11. ^ "Dan Rincon Instagram". Archived from the original on December 25, 2021. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  12. ^ Albertson, Jasmine. "John Dwyer Breaks Down Every Track on Osees' New Album Panther Rotate". KEXP. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  13. ^ Rotter, Joshua (September 2022). "Fight or flight or … how John Dwyer of Osees stays punk". 48 Hills. San Francisco Progressive Media Center. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  14. ^ Rumrill, Joe (September 24, 2017). "Even Newer Thee Oh Sees Album Somehow Released Before New Thee Oh Sees Album". The Hard Times. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  15. ^ "NYMN Interview – Petey Dammit of Thee Oh Sees". nymn.com. September 12, 2012. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2012.
  16. ^ Albertson, Jasmine. "John Dwyer of Oh Sees on His Prolific Output, Tinnitus, and The Joys of Multiple Drummers". KEXP. Retrieved May 30, 2023.

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