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July 31, 2001

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For anyone who’s ever tried — or wanted — to sing along to a Joan Of Arc song, you are aware of how futile and frustrating such an endeavor can be. While always possessing stellar musicianship and a talent for creating complex musical arrangements, they always maintained an air of ridiculous pretentiousness (check out the song titles on their 2000 release, The Gap) that only the geekiest of rock geeks could fully appreciate. With Joan Of Arc being laid to rest, Mike and Tim Kinsella strip themselves down to the bare minimum rock ‘n’ roll set-up and emerge with the rock record their former band could never make. Owls takes the abrasive, emo stylings of Cap’n Jazz and the smooth, jazzy indie pop of American Football (which both featured Mike) to present the rock version of Joan Of Arc. Expect the usual calculated, precise drumming, jangly guitar work and endearingly melancholic strain of Tim’s voice. Don’t expect the experimental noodling and electronic blips and bleeps. And try not to sing along to "Everyone Is My Friend" — impossible. Finally.

Chart Attack

Brian Pascual