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Owls | Owls (Jade Tree)
Born out of the ashes of genuine mavericks Joan of Arc and the influential Cap'n Jazz, the debut recording from Owls certainly has a lot to live up to, for this reviewer anyway. Having succesfully blended the melodic elements of Gastr del Sol with the frenetic energy of the Van Pelt, Tim kensella's Joan of arc were one of the most compelling indie rock acts around. Quite why then he has decided to dispense with them and regroup with his old Cap'n Jazz band mates and form Owls is somewhat bewildering. Their debut record is pretty much your standard arty indie rock fare - weaving guitars, wilfully obtuse lyrics and dodgy time signatures adding up to not much more than a (mostly) mediocre collection of Lapse-like songs. There are maverick moments of yore here, specifically the standout Everyone Is My Friend, which brings to mind Don Cabellero jamming with Pavement, but for the most part it feels very much like Kinsellas and co are treading water.

James Hindle
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002