This is an incredibly polarizing album. A argument forms deep in the brain as to whether to chastise this album and mock it to the fullest extent possible, or to share this album with the world. Some context: Conspiracy of Owls is actually the side project (or is it new project?) of the legendary underground Detroit garage heroes The Go. After letting some psychedelia seep inot a few of their previous albums, the band decided to indulge in the sound completely, and formed Conspiracy of Owls as a way to deliver it. And by psychedelia, I don't mean a reinterpretation of the '60s style a la garage filter like Ty Segall or The Fresh and Onlys. No, this albums is a complete recreation of the stuff that was pouring out of a car's stereo set on AM radio in the '70s. In fact, if this music came on randomly somewhere, you would be asking who turned on the classic rock station.
OK, I know it seems like I'm not casting the most favorable light on Conspiracy of Owl's debut , while the truth is that is not my intention. It's simply a band that plays so close on the line of parody and just wearing their influences on their sleeve, especially if those influences happens to be bands like the highly mockable Pink Floyd. However, this is one of the bases of Conspiracy of Owls; crafting something genuine out of something that can sound so fake. Through nostalgia, in the truest sense, based on lyrics of days gone past and the throw back, they accomplished just that. The other key aspect of the album is the contrast of the song styles of the band's writers, Robert Harlow and John Krautner. Harlow's are the most traditional and psych induced, guitars layed on each other and soaked in reverb, not to mention heavy on synth & prog influence, through it works wonders as the album closer "A Silver Song". Krautner is more of the hit man. While still containing the psychedelic edge, his songs have a distinct Kinks feel to all of them. it speaks volumes his songs were chosen as the album's "singles", though one listen to the jaunty, wondrous vibes of "Three" and it becomes crystal clear why this is.
I know there are people who will despise this album, viewing it with the same contempt as the albums of the same time period this one is based on. However, in a indie music scene that is so deeply based on nostalgia for things past, it should not be asking much to go back a little further in time to appreciate this album.
(mp3) Conspiracy of Owls-Ancient Robots
(mp3) Conspiracy of Owls-Three
Conspiracy of Owls on Myspace
Buy Conspiracy of Owls debut here, from Burger Records