Sigh…the rock landscape is flooded with bands who all say and do the same thing. Take some chords, grab a singer with a bit o’ gravel to his voice, write songs about a woman doing you wrong, and voila! That’s apparently the recipe for getting on all these fucking festivals where millions of white female bubbleheads will lap up your music like kittens at saucers of milk. It’s so boring, so bland, and quite frankly makes me want to jam forks in my eyes. Which is why OWL COMPANY is such a breath of fresh air. With this album Horizon (out now, ONErpm) the band has reminded me just how good rock music can be when it’s honest, and not pandering.
Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil these guys have this smoldering energy that comes through on the record, and I imagine live it burns bright, too. It’s like the 70’s and 00’s had a baby, and what they spit out was OWL COMPANY. Heavy riffs, and a thick-as-Kansas City-barbecue-sauce rhythm section coupled with a vocalist who has range AND balls makes for a winning combination for sure. Right away there was something about their sound I liked. “Ain’t Time For This” and “Play With Fire” are proof positive of everything I’ve been saying. Go ahead and listen, then try to tell me I’m wrong.
“Riddles” has a sexy, Southern bluesy swagger going on, which is hard to believe considering these guys come from a tropical paradise. “Deathrow” charges full steam ahead, while “Black ‘N Blue” is the type of song that could get serious radio airplay if only those that control such things would get their heads outta their asses. “Bullet Proof Innocence” really showcases the talent in this band on all fronts and also manages to be one of the album’s best tracks. Vocalist Felipe Ruiz sounds especially good here.
Despite the fact that this band can clearly rock with the best of them, my runaway favorite tune is the decidedly sinister “Caged Emotions.” It just sits and stews, like a captive animal waiting for its keeper to unlock the door and get careless for that one second before bolting through the gate to break forth and be free. This is one of those tracks I have to repeat five or six times before moving on. Closing the disc in fine fashion is “Underdog,” another one that should have heads a-bobbin’ and toes a-tappin.’
At the end of the day OWL COMPANY have delivered an honest and raw rock and roll record with Horizon. And that’s all any fan could ask for. Give us good music to fight, fuck, laugh, cry, or drink to and we’re happy. But keep it HONEST. There are too many corporate radio rock bands out there, and they’re all frauds. They’re more concerned with how their ass looks in a pair of $2000 designer jeans than actually saying something with their music. Thankfully this band knows what’s what, and avoids that bullshit. I’m very curious to see what they do next. In the meantime consider me a big fan.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Bullet Proof Innocence”, “Caged Emotions”, “Ain’t Time For This”, “Play With Fire”, “Underdog”