Thee Oh Sees albums are a yearly treat. Not only are they an annual occurrence, but they also typically arrive no earlier than April. If you tend to find yourself in a mid-year slump, there’s nothing like some familiar but satisfying psychedelic garage rock to boost your spirits. John Dwyer and company provide escapism, not through writing sunny songs about how everything’s okay, but through locking in on their excitable eccentricity and bringing you along for the ride.

Thee Oh Sees are no more, however. The lineup isn’t much different than 2016’s double attack of A Weird Exits and An Odd Entrances, with the exception of !!! drummer Paul Quattrone now doing percussive duties alongside Dan Rincon. However, the band is now just “Oh Sees.” In a year that’s been as bad if not worse than we feared, the least of our concerns should be an arbitrary name change. Orc, the first album under the Oh Sees name, sounds like a Thee Oh Sees album, which is to say, it sounds like familiar but satisfying psychedelic garage rock.

Opener ‘Static God’ is anything but stationary, bursting into full force with a quick drum roll, Dwyer’s squealing guitar and his playful but twitchy vocals, like he’s trying to disguise nervous energy as excitement. It also highlights something Dwyer better than arguably anyone could ever attempt, yelping “OH!” at the apex of a song’s adrenaline. This is also effective on the creepy ‘Nite Expo’ and the proggy ‘Keys to the Castle’, which runs eight minutes and makes good use of strings in its back half. These tracks also feature the always-welcome backing vocals of former Oh Sees full-timer Brigid Dawson, her heavenly echo providing the best possible contrast to Dwyer’s more ragged delivery.

Even though Oh Sees albums tend to be sonically similar, they succeed on the basis of being satisfying as full listening experiences and not just feeling like Dwyer threw together a bunch of tracks he had lying around. Orc is particularly well-paced, with its most furious tracks in the first half and its (relatively) relaxed ones in the second. He offers one of his best pure ragers in recent memory with ‘Animated Violence’, which features a warped guitar crunch reminiscent of his friend and contemporary Ty Segall. True to its name, it’s an aggressive song where it sounds like every instrument is colliding against one another. Side one ends with ‘Jettison’, which is slowed down enough to make for a logical segue into side two and contains some patented Dwyer creepy imagery with “Who likes sugar in their coffin?/ The underground is twice as nice.”

Speaking of creepy, ‘Cadaver Dog’ isn’t as unsettling as the Denver hardcore project with that very name, but it makes evocative use of noisy guitar and Dwyer’s vocals are impressive in their disgusted tone. Then there’s the almost completely instrumental back-to-back serving of the ‘Paranoise’, with its pulsating bass and mellow repeating guitar line, then ‘Cooling Tower’ with its drawn-out synths and melancholy circus sounds. They’re not the most exciting tracks, but they ride their grooves well. Penultimate track ‘Drowned Beast’ has a slow tempo and melodic arrangement that truly feels like the soundtrack to bringing some deceased levithan to the surface, while six-minute closer ‘Raw Optics’ is like a final grab bag of sounds with more cheerful guitar, bass throbbing in each channel, and a conclusive cymbal.

I would argue that the last truly great (Thee) Oh Sees album was 2013’s Floating Coffin, but I can’t ever imagine thinking they’re anything but a great band. Orc is another immensely satisfying offering from one of underground rock’s modern heroes. As long as Trump’s in office, maybe he can up the output to say, three albums per year? (Just a thought).