[3 February 2014]
Brooklyn’s Weird Owl offer up a heavily-reverbed, soupy brand of synth-pop on their five-track EP Healing. The first two songs form a strong one-two punch: “Change Your Mind” envelops the listener in layers of warm drones and fuzzy midtempo guitar lines, feeling like the sonic equivalent of a down comforter. Follow-up “Stars on a Coffin Lid” is only slightly less seductive, dialing up the guitar twang to complement the oozing synths. Sadly, this promising opening is squandered by the dirgelike “Seventh of Seven Sundays”, which reveals the limitations of vocalist Trevor Tyrrell. The even more dire “Master of the Mysteries” makes the mistake of thinking that a spoken-word sound collage is interesting. It’s not. With just five tracks on the EP, there is no room for waste like this. Final cut “Healing” brings things back into focus to some degree, but it’s too little too late. Let’s hope that when Weird Owl get around to releasing their full-length, the emphasis will be on atmospheric, well-played tunes.