3 & 4
3 & 4 is a rather epic collection from a fairly unassuming band. The two-disc set’s subtitles are “Songs About Death and Dying” and “Get Stoned,” respectively, and while the latter may have been the state the duo was in when recording, the former gives the best representation of what to expect on here. At it’s core, this is “holler” music; not holler as in yell, but holler as in garbled southern for hollow. It’s a sound berthed in the wilds of the Appalachians or that dirty little corner of Texas the family from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre called home. With minimal instrumentation that rarely rises above guitar and drums and muffled production as if transferred from a dusty, ancient 78 record, OCS create a creepy down-home folk-and-blues set for singer John Dwyer to let loose his cackling, dying grandma voice overtop. Filling his songs with tales ranging from homicidal obsession (“Second Date,” “Devils’ Last Breath”) to absurd transportation envy (“Bycycle”) and a hospital comment card (“Friends of St. Thomas Hospital”), it’s obvious that the OCS mind is a frightening place in which to live. The few moments of achingly mournful lucidity, like “I’m Coming Home,” give the album an even sadder tinge. It’s completely compelling music made by people you’ll probably never want to meet in person.