Protean Threat

Oh Sees - Protean Threat
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2020 Ratings: #621 / 809
User Score
Based on 215 ratings
2020 Ratings: #529
Liked by 8 people
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Louder Than War

It’s those oxymoronical twists and turns that make Osees a delight to hear from every time as they power through their blend of scuzzy garage psych-punk and throw everything possible at you, just to keep you on your toes.

Osees, the latest incarnation of the Oh Sees, debuted last year with a 40-minute two-track electronica ambient instrumental, but here John Dwyer returns to thrashing, galloping warped punk, albeit with a more pronounced funk feel.
Loud and Quiet

OSees are skipping across a plethora of musical touchstones, and continuing to blaze their own trail as expansive psych-rock pioneers.


Much of the album has the jagged, buzzing insanity of early Oh Sees records, but where those records were blasts of noise, here the jazz and prog influences the band have gotten into so deeply invest the songs with a chewy oddness that helps them hit harder than they might otherwise.

Under The Radar

The tracks do not feel truncated. In stripping the indulgences back, the band delivers the best aspects of their fuzzy guitar freakouts without sacrificing the groove-based jams.


Even though Protean Threat proves to be an adventurous, quirky and downright strange album at times, Osees manage keep the whole thing sonically grounded and consumable, all while keeping Dwyer's winning streak impossibly alive.


The restless vigour of Protean Threat ... testifies to the invigorating properties of that breakfast of champions.


There will be moments at which you'll wonder which parts of this wildly diverse album you’re actually supposed to be enjoying, but it's certainly never boring.

FLOOD Magazine

It all adds up to an intelligent, uneven, and unpredictable record that, as self-indulgent and challenging as it might be, is also a sincerely weird joy to listen to.

The Needle Drop

While a lot trimmer than the preceding Face Stabber, Protean Threat is about as hit-and-miss.

The Young Folks

Through the surprisingly-short length of their twenty-third studio album, Protean Threat, Osees explore a variety of different genre-splicing ideas, and continue making quality rock music. The issue comes with its inability to focus on one solidified style, or one solidified theme, that could potentially tie the project together.

Osees may continue to shorten their name over the last few years, going from Thee Oh Sees to Oh Sees and now to this incarnation of the group, but their sound here remains wholly intact as it has for a very long time. The psych-rock outfit have continued to expand their massive discography by at least one album a year for almost two decades now since their OCS days, now putting out their twenty third big damn album.

What is most impressive about Osees collection of albums is that they rarely, ... read more

Thee Oh Sees/Oh Sees/Osees/The Band That Like To Change Their Name are back at it again with yet another thrilling and wild psychedelic rock album, but this time it manages to surpass the already quite high standard I've had for the band's new music given the quality of their last several releases.

'Protean Threat' sees the band explore a more punchy and punky garage rock approach to their sound and the result is an album that delivers track after track of ... read more
Their more recent albums have been plagued by jam sessions extended WAYYYY longer than necessary.
But on this album they restrict their lengths to be much shorter, usually somewhere around 2-4 minutes. And just like before, the longer tracks (while not even being long) are much more boring than the usually thrilling and addicting short tracks peppered throughout. The guitars are fuzzy, the drums are groovy, the riffs are catchy, and the vocals are weird. Definitely recommend this to anyone ... read more
Beautiful, incredibly rushed Oh Sees are shown at Protean Threat.
The incredibly prolific Osees unsurprisingly make their return in 2020, following up their hour and 20 minute epic, Face Stabber from last year, which suffered from way too much filler. Protean Threat is less than half the runtime, and is a cut and dried 10 tracks. I do think it's the better of the two albums, but it still has its misses. Nevertheless, this is still the dynamic, energetic and colorful psych garage rock which I loved from Osees previously, even if none of it is as monumental as ... read more
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Year End Lists

#13/Rough Trade
#46/Norman Records

Track List

  1. Scramble Suit II
  2. Dreary Nonsense
  3. Upbeat Ritual
  4. Red Study
  5. Terminal Jape
  6. Wing Run
  7. Said the Shovel
  8. Mizmuth
  9. If I Had My Way
  10. Toadstool
  11. Gong of Catastrophe
  12. Canopnr '74
  13. Persuaders Up!
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Added on: July 28, 2020