|a review of My Very Second Barn Owl EP from Foxy
I know little to nothing about Barn Owl except that I like their name. This 3" CD-R EP is the first I've ever heard of them. This is some crazy, disjointed stuff. It's noisy and abrasive. Loaded down with heavy percussive blasts, Barn Owl is also heavy on bass splurging. In between all the record, there's all sorts of spazzed bass noodling. It's like autistic music or something. But it's also fantastic. There's all sorts of cut-up and manipulated electronic and synthesized sounds mixed in with the drums and bass. It's disorienting at times, like being totally smashed and hanging your head over the toilet waiting to puke. In fact, I wouldn't advise listening to this when you're drunk b/c it'll make the room spin. All of these tracks work in conjunction to give you one fucked-up listening experience that flows together. I still don't know dick about Barn Owl, but I get the feeling they're a great live band and are someone I wanna hear more of. Oh, and it comes in an a-typically normal sleeve (something I don't ever expect from Imvated).- Brad Rose
-- Valley Advocate, December 27, 2001
-- Valley Advocate, February 7, 2002
Barn Owl offers a quieter-than-normal set at Capo's Coffee Café.
By Michael Manekin
Valley Advocate, April 11, 2002
Like a lot of rock bands, the local band Barn Owl, rely on the classic bass-guitar-drum set-up. And like a lot of rock bands, Barn Owl lend the impression that, in fact, they know not at all what it is they're doing. The difference -- ergo, the Barn Owl difference -- is that a) Barn Owl are not a rock band and, b) Barn Owl seem to want people to question their competence.
A Barn Owl performance is bound to raise some questions. Like, for instance, why does Barn Owl's approach to instrumentation resemble that of cavemen encountering highly advanced alien technology? Why is that electric bassist playing his instrument like an upright bass? Why is that drummer throwing objects against his kit? And, like, what's up with that guitarist sticking that thing -- that drum stick, that old spring, that broken bike lock --where it really doesn't seem to belong?
"We don't consider what we do performance art," says Barn Owl drummer Matt Weston. "But we're all influenced by rock bands that have certain theatrical elements in them."
Barn Owl are a "noise" band, and beyond the dramatics of performance, its three members are interested in the texture, volume, weirdness and all-around coolness of sound. Fortunately, many cool sounds happen to look cool in performance: a cello bow slid along an electric bass, a tuning fork wedged beneath the strings of an electric guitar, an old computer case slammed against a drum cymbal. Adding to the confusion, there are, according to Weston, "somewhere between three and several dozen" effects pedals onstage during any given performance.
Feeling peckish for chaos? This Saturday, as part of the ongoing Soft Sounds Music Series, Barn Owl offers a quieter-than-normal set at Capo's Coffee Café. At 3-4 minutes short, Barn Owl songs tend to be more user-friendly than the kinds of "improvised compositions" tossed together by your average noise outfit. This way, says Weston, the band "doesn't get tired, and theoretically the audience doesn't get bored."