Earlier this year, John Dwyer, one of indie music’s stalwarts surprised fans by disbanding his genre-defining group The Oh Sees. What genre, you ask? Garage rock, of course. Though, admittedly, by the time last year’s Floating Coffin – the group’s undeniable apex in this humble writer’s opinion – the group had shifted, taking in a healthy dose of Krautrock and letting bandleader Dwyer concentrate on Space Echo–fed guitar while Brigid Dawson’s vocals took center stage.
From 2001-2005, just prior to The Oh Sees, of course, Dwyer fronted the Coachwhips. When, just before SXSW 2014, the group announced they’d reunite for the festival in the original lineup, garage rockers worldwide let out a collective hoot. In many ways, the group were progenitors to the Garage Rock revival that has swept the indie scene.
Panache Booking agency announced they’d do a special show with the group. “Special” because it was on top of a boat gently floating down the Colorado river. The group’s primal energy – a mixture of lo-fi guitars, the group’s own PA system, which boasts a layer of grimy (re: euphoric) distortion, and the group’s pounding riffs is exactly what great garage rock is all about. The group’s reuniting has been one of the festival’s key stories and, here they showed everyone just why they’ve become Garage rock legends.