Owls – TWO (2014)


Given that it was such a long time (thirteen years) between albums, TWO serves up a treat for both those who are familiar with their self-titled debut, and those who aren’t.

TWO displays a band who are unafraid of disjointedness or defamiliarisation, as can be found in the dissonance between Zurick‘s bass lines and Villarreal’s expertly woven guitar, as well as in the strange chord extensions (somewhat comparable to the post-punk angularity of bands like Love Of Diagrams), and the stumbling phrase lengths used across the record. This is undoubtedly what makes TWO one of those albums that seems to get better with repeated listens. What’s more, the initial tracks of the album, including single, I’m Surprised, are a deceptively simple and catchy introduction to an album that grows more dark and complex, and arguably more intriguing as the album continues.

The vocal line especially, contains a conversational, heartfelt moodiness that the previous album lacked. With a melody that could at times easily be confused with his own naturally spoken prosody, Tim Kinsella has opted for a wandering tone in this album that is both at times more tuneful and much more focused on content rather than with form. And the lyrical content is as far reaching as ever, from the tongue-in-cheek yet profound “This must be at least kind of like what everyone kind of thinks “ in This Must Be How, to the weird, joking mundanity of “Oh no! Don’t smash the bag of pretzels! Oh no!” in Oh No, Don’t… 

The always off-kilter but on-point guitar, bass and drums combine with these vocals to create an ever-evolving sound that continually pushes you away whilst bringing you in, subtly reminding you of a loveable yet complex friend who always gets paranoid about space aliens after a few drinks. You’ll know what I’m talking about…

File Under

Indie, Vocals, Angularity, Math Rock, Disjointed Riffs, Alt-Rock

Sounds A Tad Like

Love of Diagrams, Kes Band, TTNG