In Twin Peaks it was said that ‘The owls are not what they seem‘, well THESE Owls, however, are exactly what they seem – fuzzy-headed hessian stoners. I mean that in the best of ways, of course. I wouldn’t dare to be rude to Owl as bassist, and my erstwhile colleague over at the infamous Illogical Contraption blog, Melanie ‘Manslaughter’ Burkett would kick my pansy limey ass and I know it.
Joined by the fabulous Baechle brothers – Alex and Axell on twin guitars and vocals, and Clint on drums – Melanie holds down the pounding low end with moxie, verve and aplomb, whilst the Baechle triumvirate bring down the scuzzy NWOBHM vibes all around her, in this their long-awaited – around these here parts, anyway – full-length recording, following on from their most excellent demo and subsequent seven inch (which you may remember me a-frothing over back in the mists of time).
A potent, occasionally strung-out, mix of duelling NWOBHM guitarmonies, smoked-out early Fu Manchuisms, occasional prog interjections and a heapin’ helpin’ of just plain ornery shit-kickin’ Fancy Metal, Owl are an amalgam of all that is awesome about ‘eavy metal in its purest, original form.
Hell, there’s a ten-minute prog-metal odyssey named after ‘Glaurung’, first of the dragons in Tolkien’s ring cycle, that moves through a series of moods and movements and includes a two-and-a-half minute drum solo alongside a multiple pile-up of harmonised axes on here. What’s not to dig?
Elsewhere, things take a sleazier turn with the revving motorbikes, druggy biker rock, snotty vocals and wonky harmonies of ‘The Chylde And The Clowne’ , and the totally baked, heads-down progressive boogie of ‘Snake Eyed Goblin Woman’ , the semi-boneheaded dunder rock of opener ‘Gypsy River’ and ‘Demon Ride’ and the tight ‘n’ tumbling, louche vocalled ‘Medicine Mirror’ are all light years away from sprawling, near fifteen-minute closing prog-boogie epic ‘Thunder In The Sea’, a magnificent octopus that shifts through massive wah-fuzz scapes, total boogie, tight as a gnats arse syncopated drum shuffle and guitar acrobatics and deep-space synth exploration EVEN BEFORE THE MAIN PART OF THE TRACK KICKS IN!!! Seriously.
Once the track proper kicks in we’re treated to doom-filled lurching space rock, treated vocals, some dextrous jazzy drumming, majorly expansive geetar pyrotechnics and a whole lot of powerful bass grooves, courtesy of the erstwhile Ms. Manslaughter. What a way to bring the house down!
So what are you waiting for? Throw on your battlejacket, grab a bag of D20s and some cheap shit beer and go join the Owl hootenanny!
Label: Self Released
Scribed by: Paul Robertson