Polyvinyl

OWLS - two LP

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It didn’t come fast and it didn’t come easy. It’s been over two decades since TIM KINSELLA, MIKE KINSELLA, VICTOR VILLARREAL and SAM ZURiCK formed CAP’N JAZZ as teenagers, and 13 years since they followed up that band with their debut self-titled album under the name OWLS. In the time that has passed since then, the members have kept active with a string of other endeavors (including OWEN, JOAN OF ARC, MAKE BELIEVE, and GHOSTS AND VODKA) that have never failed to showcase their vast, diverse, and ever-evolving musical aptitudes. Slowly, but surely, new Owls songs fell into place: Villarreal would introduce a guitar riff from which Tim Kinsella would build a simple chord sequence and vocal melody. Then, the entire group would hash out the rest of the song amidst yelling, arguing, and practices that were often cut short or canceled outright. While sonically their technique still has the ability to dazzle, age and experience have lent new perspectives to tracks such as “I’m Surprised…” and “Ancient Stars Seed...”—making them more aggressive and direct, but certainly no less captivating. In a world that increasingly favors style over substance, Owls is unwilling to compromise the latter for the former. And that, at least, is something all the members can easily agree on.