Monday 5 September 2011

Don't Lose This Barn Owl In The Glare

I have been waxing lyrical about exponents of drone Barn Owl - I might have to say they are in my top three bands right now. Their sonic soundscapes are the epitome of beautiful noise. And it just got better, for new LP Lost In The Glare (out next week on Thrill Jockey) is their best effort yet - it's nigh on perfection. San Franciscan duo Evan Caminiti and Jon Porras haven't ditched their modus operandi of coalescing guitar drone mysticism rather than consolidate those foundations and add some nuance to the core. Opener 'Pale Star' is a pure extension of their Shadowland EP of earlier in the year, a simple, organic guitar line that morphs gradually into a dark beast. Detail is given to tracks like the two Devotions (I & II), offering controlled tension like electricity zapping across a live wire, flickering ever closer to a vat of oil. 'Turiya' is a concise animal, a quivering ball of percussive energy unlike anything the duo have offered before. The fact that it is a four minute track allows it to hold firm to the listener, is the closest Barn Owl have ever come to creating a 'single', and elicits fervent excitement. And I'd be remiss if I didnt mention 'The Darkest Night Since 1683' - its fury able to blacken the whitest of souls. Such all-encompassing abrasiveness is brutal yet cathartic, a scouring of the psyche. This track alone makes Lost In The Glare an important release. But as a whole, Barn Owl prove without a doubt that they are one of the most underrated bands going around.

You can buy Lost In The Glare here - the first 500 vinyl copies are in translucent blue!!

Barn Owl - Turiya
Barn Owl - The Darkest Night Since 1683

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