Castle Face Records
A Foul Form
Los Angeles garage punks Osees have released so many albums over the years that it’s hard to keep count. The same goes for the amount of lineup changes and name changes they’ve gone through since John Dwyer started the band in 1997. One thing that hasn’t changed with the band is their brand of raw amplification and sheer electricity they convey through their music. There’s a certain grime that’s apparent which is unique, especially in an age where a lot of bands and musicians aim to sound somewhat polished. A Foul Form, which was released via Dwyer’s label Castle Face Records on August 12, is the band’s 26th studio album and it’s a testament to their prolific output and their intense aesthetic.
In the liner notes, Dwyer describes the album as “brain stem cracking scum punk” and it’s an accurate depiction. It’s distorted and dirty with a sheen of crud while at the same time having an impressive production quality. It’s real punk rock that mirrors the hardcore stylings of the early and mid-80s but it doesn’t sound like shit. This is new age scuzz for the post-millennial generation where the abrasion and sonic mangling has a big presence while at the same time it’s being recorded through some high end gear rather than a rinky dink tape recorder. It definitely makes sense that the band made A Foul Form in Dwyer’s basement, but I’m also intrigued to know the studio equipment they used to make it come to fruition.
The crazy downbeats in “Frock Block” are emphatic as hell, it's the kind of song you can walk down the street to while navigating a ridiculous urban landscape. “Scum Show” is an absolute ripper that has the drums and guitars becoming a force to be reckoned with. I enjoy “Perm Act” as well, there’s a cool rhythmic structure that’s danceable with Dwyer singing with a slightly British accent. Other highlights include “Funeral Solution”, “Fucking Kill Me”, “Social Butt” and a rendition of Rudimentary Peni’s “Sacrifice”. Overall, it’s an excellent punk rock album that’s defiant in how it sounds and how it’s structured.
As a person who loves punk music, I love how A Foul Form stays true to an era of the artform that’s often overlooked. Everyone likes to talk about punk in the ‘70s and ‘90s, but what went down in the ‘80s was an important bridge in many facets. This is a fact both in punk and in the music industry as a whole, without independent labels in the ‘80s the groundwork for what we
have today wouldn’t exist. Enough of the history lesson, this album just flat out rules. It’s ideal for anyone who likes shredding, distortion and weird tones being brought forth through guitars.
Order A Foul Form by Osees HERE