Wicker Park Fest: Reverend Horton Heat, Owls, Lydia Loveless, Pet Symmetry, and others | Milwaukee between North and Paulina | Fairs & Festivals | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Owls

Owls

Wicker Park Fest: Reverend Horton Heat, Owls, Lydia Loveless, Pet Symmetry, and others 

When: Sat., July 26, 12 p.m. 2014
Price: $5 suggested donation
Chicago emo four-piece Owls were reborn in 2012—catalyzed by a 2010 reunion of the fabled Cap’n Jazz, whose lineup includes everyone in Owls—and this March they released Two (Polyvinyl), their first album in 13 years. The new record naturally provoked comparisons to what Victor Villareal, Sam Zurick, and brothers Tim and Mike Kinsella accomplished in 2001 on their timeless self-titled debut. Owls’ first album sounds much more organic in its execution—four upstart local talents already familiar with one another’s off-center methods get in a room, make an album in said room, then leave the room. It’s rigorous, mathy indie rock, with Villareal and Mike Kinsella weaving together guitar and drums like they can read each other’s minds; their parts are structured in such an idiosyncratic way that your brain is always several measures behind them. It often sounds improvised, though it definitely isn’t, and only Tim Kinsella’s free-flowing poetry, delivered in a frail croon, provides a reliable place to stand. Two doesn’t have the graceful stumble of its predecessor, and its threads are pulled much tauter—it’s practically a rock album, at least in comparison to the rest of the Kinsella brothers’ output. It’s a different sound from four guys who’ve changed enormously since they last recorded together; it feels like a well-executed plot rather than a genius accident. And I’m good with that. If you know anything about these musicians, you’re well aware that when they team up they never produce anything flat. —Kevin Warwick On this stage Pet Symmetry, Felix Culpa, Dr. Manhattan, and Space Blood open.

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