Published Feb 25, 2014Thee Oh Sees' frontman John Dwyer abandons his guitar for pure synth on his debut solo album as Damaged Bug, Hubba Bubba. After recently psyching us out with the announcement that our beloved Oh Sees will be, "taking a well-deserved break," we're treated with not only this — a departure from Dwyer's garage-rock riffs for the sake of hearing something new — but also the promise of an upcoming Oh Sees album.
According to a press release, Hubba Bubba was recorded using synthesizers, drum machines and assorted hand-made electronics. Robotic sounds are jaggedly pieced together in a cartoonish, asymmetrical manner; rhythms are composed of odd screeches and howls. Dwyer dabbles with different singing styles, at times resorting to sharp barks masked by reverb and other digital effects, recalling the style of John Maus, with a hint of Bauhaus' Peter Murphy. First single "Eggs at Night" is an upbeat and fun lo-fi synth-pop tune with a dance-worthy beat and hook. "Sic Bay Surprise" is an impossibly catchy psychedelic number, as is "Hot Swells," which is a slower, more bass-driven song. Hubba Bubba a must-listen, an expression often and deservedly heard about Dwyer's work. (Castle Face)